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Whatever Happened to 

The Class of '47? 


High School Alumni 

Life Stories 




Whatever Happened to 

The Class of '47? 


High School Alumni 

Life Stories 

Digitized by tine Internet Arciiive 

in 2012 witii funding from 

Federally funded with LSTA funds through the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners 

Whatever Happened to 

The Class of '47? 


High School Alumni 

Life Stories 

Albert Manson Emily Clements Doucette 

May, 2003 






Forward ".•• 1 

Acknowledgements ii 

Norman Arbo .. — . .... 1 

Mary Bemis Pitman 2 

Robert Bertwell 3 

Frederick Bischoff. 4 

Emily Clements Doucette 6 

Grace Dame Santos 8 

Margaret Denton Capobianco 9 

Bernice Doucette Lynch 11 

Estella Downs Flynn 12 

JohnElia 14 

Robert Findlay 18 

Gerldine Fitch McKenna 20 

Joseph Gilligan 25 

John Good 26 

Richard Goss 27 

Eileen Hitchcock Thebeau 28 

John Hourihan 29 

Elizabeth Huntley White 31 

Verda Johnson Murray 33 

Albert Manson 34 

Muriel Martin Tribble 36 

Charlotte Moore Stewart 37 

Catherine Murray Hardy 38 

Nancy Noble Cook. 40 

Ann Palmer Stewart 42 

Geraldine Porter Doane 43 

Alice Rooney Sullivan 45 

Carolyn Smalley Ryan 46 

Dorothy Smith Bradley 48 

Charles Sullivan 49 

Joseph Bernie Surrette 51 

Bernard Wagstaff. 52 

Josephine Wandell Bell 54 

Theodore Wicks 57 

We Also Remember 59 

The Way We Were 60 


One of the major reasons our 55* reunion was so outstanding was that many of us 
were updated on what has happened to each other since our graduation. Hearing 
each person tell of his or her life since 1947 was fascinating to the classmates and 
their guests. Several people said they wished those who spoke had provided a written 
record so they could be referred to later. Others stated that it was too bad that those who 
did not attend were unable to share their stories or hear ours. 

At the reunion, several classmates left their e-mail addresses on a list. As a result, e-mail 
messages were sent to each other referring to it as "the best ever." It was through these 
messages that an idea was bom. We decided to follow through and create this book. Li 
no time we had a group of enthusiastic workers and we were off. 

The purpose of this book is to let us live a little in the past, provide us with a token of 
sentimentality and satisfy our curiosity about our classmates. I'm sure as you read this 
you will be proud of the way the members of your class turned out. The class of '47 is 
not limited to those who graduated in 1947, but includes members who were part of our 
class in prior years, who attend our reunions and consider themselves as part of our 

What started out as a chore, became an obsession and finally a passion. Talking to 
classmates that we hadn't seen for over fifty years was a truly pleasant experience. Old 
fiiendships have been renewed and we are ready and anxious for our 60* reunion. 


We should all thank Liz Huntley White, Gerry Porter Doane, Charlotte Moore 
Stewart and Sis Wandell Bell for their tireless efforts on our behalf. 

To those who shared their life stories, we thank you for your efforts. Without you this 
book could not have been written. 



Norm Arbo 

1215 West 69* Terrace 

Kansas City, MO 641 13 

ne of the questions was "are you married, single, children and grand kids, hobbies and 
any successes." 

All of the above and single again. However not really single - you can lose a wife but it seems 
you never lose the kids nor grand kids. Ruth & I had four children: Sharon is a CAD (computer 
program designer) for General Motors; Gerald is retiring from Stahls Metal Fabrication and 
opening his own business as a piano technician; Jeimifer just returned from Africa where she has 
been serving as a missionary (teaching English as a second language); Steve is City Manager for 
Lee's Summitt, MO. These four have given me ten grand kids who are 4-25 years old. 

After college at Wm. Jewell and seminary at Central American Baptist Seminary, I served 32 
years with Baptist: three wonderfiil churches for ten years each. Also I represented 1800 
churches as I served on the Executive Board as an elected official for several years. This gave 
me the opportunity to preach in many of these churches. During this time I returned to Seminary 
and became a mentor for six students per year. 

Becoming disenchanted with the growing conservatism of this denomination, I left to help the 
Missouri Division of Family Services. HIV & AIDS were deleting so many young people. Help 
was available but they had not the energy nor time to apply. For the next six years I worked to 
re-invent governmental assistance. The program allowed one application to meet the needs of 
ten agencies in Jackson Coimty. This allowed a patient to receive, within 24 hours, assistance 
for all which he/she was entitled. During these six years, we applied this type of assistance to the 
Mentally Handicapped as well as HIV/AIDS person. 

My greatest joy was when the church I attended, and in which I taught a class, arranged with the 
bishop to have me take nine more hours at St. Paul Seminary and become a pastor there. It is the 
Central United Methodist Church, serving the Kansas City Plaza area and University of MO/KC, 
a flag ship of the western conference. Though now retired, I still am excited about working with 
these fine folk. I am the hospital visitor, standby for fimerals and weddings, and director of the 
Mather Class (a group of 75-1 00 professional retirees your age). 

In recent years my partner, Don Robertson, and I have purchased 6 properties and oversee the 
restoration project on them. In 1995 one of our properties was completed and fiimished in the 
age of our birth (1930). This was chosen as the home for display by Historic Kansas City and 
was on tour. These last four years we have completed a rambling ranch located in the block 
between Mission Hills, KS and Ward Parkway, MO. This is the place now called home. 

Life is frill of surprises - one heart attack and stroke; while learning to walk again one fall that 
took a while to heal. I have a gratitude for plastic as it exists in both ears, five blood vessels, 
both eyes, bracing both feet and a square of it is in my hip pocket providing this trip east to see 

Mary Bemis Pittman 

19 Benson Road 
Wilmington, MA 01887-1602 

When i graduated from high school, I did what a stream of other girls did, we all headed 
for the John Hancock Insurance Company in Boston. It was an easy place to get a job. 
If Wilmington High School folded up, I swear the John Hancock Insurance Company 
would have folded up as well. But, work there I did, imtil I got married. 

In 1950, 1 met my husband, Charley Pitman, from Tewksbury. He and his friend, Arthur Fosse, 
owned Jack's Diner on Grove Avenue in Wilmington, by Silver Lake. Charley and I were 
married in 1951 . We have a daughter and a son, four grandchildren and two great grandchildren. 
It doesn't seem possible that I am old enough to have two great grandchildren (they are girls). 

Charley was a career navy man. He served during World War II, Vietnam and the Korean 
conflict and was called back into service a couple of years after we were married. Charley aad 
Arthur then sold Jack's Diner. Arthur Fosse enlisted in the Marine Corp. Luckily, Charley was 
stationed locally most of the time, serving in Boston, and a short while in Rhode Island. He 
served in the navy for 21 years. 

Working as a Plant manager for a company in Winchester, Charley also attended New 
Hampshire College and received his degree. He worked there after serving in the navy, for about 
ten years. 

Now retired, Charley started working on a part time job in customer relations for ADTCO in 
Billerica, to keep himself occupied. Somehow it evolved into a fiiU time job and he still works 
there at the age of 75. He loves it. 

We have done some traveling, vacationing in freland, Aruba, the Bahamas, Bermuda and have 
also taken a Disney cruise and trip with family members. We also went on a Caribbean cruise 
with Marge and Tom Hill. We have enjoyed some really "fim times." 

My days are filled with time spent with my children and grandchildren. Our swimming pool out 
back provides our family with entertaining days during the summer. I also do church volunteer 
work at St. Dorothy's church. 

Only rarely do I see former classmates in my travels around town. At one time, running into 
classmates like Charlotte Moore or Liz Huntley, and a few others at DeMoulas Market was 
commonplace. Wilmington has grown so large that seeing a familiar face nowadays is a rare 
event. I think we grew up during the town's best years. We were the luck ones. 

Robert Bertwell 

82 Lowell Street 
Wilmington, MA 01887 

Even though my grandmother was bom in Prince Edward Island, Canada, I still consider 
myself a true Wilmington stalwart. My mother was bom in Wilmington and my great 
grandfather, Austin Hall, owned and operated a farm on Chestnut Street. Gracie Dame 
Santo' s father and my dad went to school together. My roots go deep in Wilmington, along with 
my love for my "hometown." I built my own house on Lowell Street in 1954 and still reside 
there with my wife, Pauline (Donald Call's sister). We were married in 1950. 

From high school, I went to work for a Ford automobile agency for one year. Drafted into the 
army, July, 1950, I was not called to duty until January, 1951. It was off to Fort Stewart, 
Georgia, where it took me seven months to cam the rank of corporal. Being trained as a radar 
operator, I also learned to drive the trailer tmck with anti aircraft guns while stationed in 
Michigan. I was in the service for two years. Eventually, I did earn my high school diploma. 

Back home again, I was employed in the constmction industry as an apprentice learning the 
trade. When the owner of the company I worked for at the time died, his son took over the 
business and I became lead man. We were successfiil in our endeavors and had the distinction of 
working for WBZ Television station in Boston, constructing various sets for television 
celebrities like Jack Chase, Don Kent and Rex Trailer. It was interesting, challenging work. I 
was pleased to be a performer on one of Rex Trailer's shows. I became an instant celebrity. My 
family loved it. 

I started my own business taking on a partner in Tewksbury. Called the "Jewell Manufacturing 
Company," we made camper tops for tmcks, etc. It became a lucrative business employing 
about 25 workers. Eventually, the need for this product phased out. 

In 1979, I became employed by the Newton- Wellesley Hospital in charge of major 
reconstmction work on the hospital and had a crew of ten to twelve employees. I retired from 

Since retirement, I have kept busy by spending summers at our family retreat in Lovell, Maine, 
where I vacationed as a child. Our cottage is located on the waterfront of Cushman Pond. 
Famous author, Steven King, also owns a place in Lovell. 

My hobby is restoring antique cars. This is an ongoing passion that has driven me to build a 
garage for them. A 1930 pickup tmck I own was in the Wilmington 250**^ celebration parade and 
merited a picture in the local newspaper, The Town Crier, which made me very proud. I also 
own a 1928 Ford sedan and am now working on a recently purchased 1965 Ford Mustang. 

Fred Bischoff 

92 Bridges Lane 

North Andover, MA 01845 

I was very sorry to miss the last reunion. As I recall. Aim and I had committed ourselves to 
an Elderhostel program in California. Anyhow, let me give you a run-down on my major 
activities over the past 56 (ugh) years. I attended Lowell Tech (now UMass Lowell) and 
received my BS and MS degrees and then went to work in Connecticut at US Rubber Co where I 
remained for about three years. In 1954 I accepted an offer to teach at my alma mater. That 
involved a considerable reduction in salary, but I never regretted it. I took a two year leave of 
absence in 1955 for a tour of duty with the Army, serving in Maryland and Okinawa. Just prior 
to going overseas Ann and I got married (thought she'd be able to join me but such was not the 
case). A little side story at this point ...Aim was sharing an apartment on Commonwealth Ave. 
in Boston with two other girls, and John Good (classmate of ours until he went to Keith 
Academy) was sharing an apartment in the same building with a couple of guys. I would drop 
by quite regularly, and eventually became serious with Ann, and John wound up marrying Ann's 
roommate, Carol. They live here in North Andover and we get together quite often. 

After my discharge from the Army I returned to Lowell and advanced through the ranks and 
finally retired after 40 years of teaching. Ann and I moved into our first home (a 200 year old 
farm in Pelham, NH) in 1957. Our three children were all bom there and we moved to North 
Andover in 1972. Daughter, Lynn, graduated from Ohio U. with degrees in physics and 
mechanical engineering. She and husband, Milan, with children (Kristina, and Nickolas) live in 
La Habra Heights, CA. She is a computer consultant. Son, Karl, married Karin Ott and they live 
in Chelmsford with son and daughter (Daniel and Susanna). Karl received his degree in 
mechanical engineering from UMass Lowell and is an engineer with Philips, Inc. Son Paul 
married Rita Benoit. They have one daughter, Alison, and they live in Livermore, CA. Paul got 
his degree from UMass Lowell also, and is director of engineering for Ultratech Corp. It was a 
rather interesting experience for Karl, Paul and myself during their years at U Mass - having 
their father as one of their teachers. It actually went very well. Ann received her BS degree 
from UMass Lowell the same year as Paul. She is currently active with the University as a 
consultant in the technical writing program. 

My interests center mostly aroimd woodworking. I did a major upgrade on our original house in 
Pelham. Then we bought a piece of land in Maine and I built a summer home there in 1975 
which we sold a few years later and traveled up coast to Waldoborto where I built our present 
summer home in 1980, A couple of years later, I built the house we now live in here in North 
Andover. I love to make pieces of fiuniture and do cabinet work. I'm no super star but it keeps 
me busy and off the streets. 

Ann and I have been doing some volunteer work mentoring students in the Lawrence school 
system. We do an occasional Elderhostel program, and have made a couple of trips to Europe. 

The only members of our class that I have occasional contact with are Burtt Holmes and John 
Good. Dick and Eileen Montgomery (Class of "46) and my cousin, Helen (Bedell) Ouelette 
(also '46) are welcome visitors to our Maine home 

Emily Clements Doucette 

Silver Thatch #1518 

525 N. Ocean Boulevard 

Pompano Beach, Fl 33062 

How lucky could I be? The house where I grew up was just a few steps away from Silver 
Lake. I used to walk out the front door and jump in the lake for a swim before breakfast. 
The same applied to ice skating in winter. All our entertainment was just a stone's 
throw away. I felt fortunate to be living there. 

When we moved to Wilmington, I was in the fifth grade and had to take the school bus to the 
Center School. In winter we would walk across the frozen ice to take a shortcut to the bus stop. 
Sometimes the ice would make pounding noises and crack right under our feet. It was 

After High School, everyone swarmed into Boston, like locusts and I was no exception. Finding 
a job in the Publicity Department of Little, Brown & Co., was a lucky break. I loved working 
there. Each day brought new excitement. Famous authors like Evelyn Waugh, Ogden Nash, the 
Sitwell's, bandied about the office on occasion. I attended night classes at Boston University 
during that time and had made many new friends. I rode the subway more than "Charlie of the 
MTA." I became familiarized with every nook and cranny in Boston and was enamored by it all. 

I met my husband Walter Doucette, from Tewksbury, and we married in 1950. We lived in 
Tewksbury for 29 years until he passed away. I have three children. Daughter, Claudia, and 
husband are both school teachers. Son, Walter, Jr., is Supervisor of the Tewksbury gas plant. 
Son, Gregory, is a heavy machine operator. I have seven grandchildren. We spent our summers 
at our home at Lake Winnipesaukee, N. J. and took ski outings with our children during the 
winter months, when they were growing up. Walter and I had started to travel to places like 
Spain, Mexico, Hawaii, etc. 

After my husband's demise, I found myself in a business whirl of real estate and finance. As 
ignorant as I was, I wanted to stand at the "helm" and not lean on my children. My two sons 
were still living at home. I didn't have a lot, but did have a lot of problems. Racing around 
town, I would seek out people "in the know" and pick their brains. I befiiended an astute 
business man who took pity and taught me well. We became best friends, a platonic 
relationship. He recently passed away. Somehow, I came through all these tumultuous times 

After my two sons married, I sold my house in Tewksbury, and moved in with my daughter for a 
short while. From there, I decided to take a long vacation. I journeyed to Israel alone and 
booked tours from there. After seeing Israel, I became enthused and wanted to see more. I 
traveled to Egypt and then took a bus tour throughout all of Europe. I was gone for six weeks. 

From Lowell, I moved to Florida for the winter. Moving to Florida was like leaving the "real" 
world and stepping into "fantasyland." Of course being able to play tennis had everything to do 
with it. My tennis friend from home introduced me to Pompano Beach. It was love at first visit. 
I hated to leave. The Silver Thatch Tennis Club, where I played tennis each day, had an 
interesting array of friendly people from all parts of the country and world. I was invited to 
parties galore. All of a sudden my world opened up to a new way of living. It was a perfect 
place for a single woman, so I bought a condo and made Florida my permanent home. 

I met my gentleman friend from Pittsburgh, Remus Lula (bom in Romania) while playing tennis 
there as his doubles partner. Remus is metallurgist and was a consultant/lecturer to companies 
around the world. He flew in and out of Florida often. We have remained together as 
companions ever since (22 years). I did not wish to marry again so he decided to buy a condo of 
his own, a few buildings away from mine. I started to travel with him on his business trips to 
many countries like South Africa, India, Japan, etc. After the revolution in Romania, we made 
annual trips there visiting with his relatives and friends. I have grown to love Romania and have 
adopted this country as my "second home." Remus and I also took many cruises and tours, 
crisscrossing the globe many times to over eighty countries. We both agree that these have been 
the happiest years in our lives. 

Classmates I have stayed in touch with are Sis Wandell, who is, and always was, my invaluable 
friend and mentor. Charlotte Moore and I go way back. I am an admirer of her 
accomplishments. I enjoyed many happy days socializing with Virginia Day, Peggy Denton, 
Eileen Hitchcock, Podgie Johhnston. Spending time in Boston with Peggy Denton and roaming 
through the North End is one of my favorite pastimes. We have become close friends. Virginia 
Day and I visit each other and keep in touch quite often. Virginia holds the "secret key" for 
knowing how to enjoy life. 

Besides playing tennis in Florida, I have many other interests. Taking all sorts of classes, 
lectures and volunteering at working toward improved pain control and palliative care in this 
country are some of the things that keep me on the go. 

There have been many moments in my life to treasure. The memory of my youth in Wilmington 
is high on that list, along with my school days and dear classmates. Bless you, each and every 

Grace Dame Santo 

23 Blackstone Street 

Wilmington, MA 01887 

Two must definitely be my lucky number. Everythinginmy life seems to come in two's. I 
have two children, a boy and a girl, two grandchildren, and can you imagine, two great 
grandchildren. Not so lucky, was having two marriages. My first one, unfortunately, 
ended in divorcee, but the second time around I got it right. My husband, Frank, and I have been 
married 52 years. Frank is retired from the Sweetheart Plastics Company. 

Would you believe I even have two homes, one in Wilmington, and the other at Lake 
Winnipesaukee, N. H., which we have owned for thirty years. After marriage, my first home 
was in Tewksbury. From there, I moved to Beacon Street in Wilmington, and then another move 
to my present address at Blackstone Street. It is across the street from where I was brought up. 
Isn't that a coincidence two homes in Wilmington? I live across the street from my father who is 
almost 95 years old, still employed and has a lady friend. I think my dad must be indestructible. 
Incidentally, he attended our 55*** reimion. 

I am presently employed full time by a Himian Resources Medical Company that makes 
expensive heart pumps. I am waiting for them to hire a part time replacement for me, so that I 
will only have to work a few days a week. Frank and I would like to enjoy longer weekends at 
our New Hampshire home. 

My life is full and good (two again). Working during the week, packing and unpacking for our 
weekends in New Hampshire, provides for a very busy lifestyle. I don't have time for anything 
else. My family and job and two homes to care for take up all the time I have. 

You cannot imagine how happy I was to hear from my former classmates. We shared so many 
wonderful days together in our youth. These are memories one never forgets. Where have all 
those years gone? 


Peggy Denton Capobianco 

357 Commercial Street 

Apartment 609 

Boston, MA 02109 

Packing and unpacking my suitcase has become a way of life for me. I am presently 
employed as a Tour Manager for CoUette Vacations. This keeps me on the move and I 
adore my job. I am going to work as long as I can. Remember, it's not over 'til it's over. 
Having traveled throughout the country and the world both as a tourist and Tour Manager is 
about exciting as it gets. I have to study about the different places I am headed for and this helps 
keep me mentally alert and on my toes. 

Moving to Wilmington from Somerville, when I was in the ninth grade seems to surprise a lot of 
people. Most thought I lived in Wilmington a much longer time that that. Everyone commented 
on my Irish Setter dog with the same color red hair I had at the time. My dog, Rusty, and I were 
inseparable. I guess I always was, and always will be, an animal lover. Besides the little girl in 
Zambia that I take care of financially, I also donate to animal causes. These are my favorite 

When I left high school, I attended Lowell Academy and became a beautician/hairdresser. I 
worked at the Parker House in Boston until I went into business for myself and opened the 
"Carlmar Beauty Salon" in Wilmington. After three years, I sold my business. 

Carl Capobianco and I were married in 1949. We build our home on Glen Road in Wilmington. 
After moving away from there, we bought a large farmhouse in Andover, with eighteen acres of 
land where we started breeding Arabian horses in 1963. In 1969, I joined "Weight Watchers" 
and worked as a lecturer for them for 23 years. 

In the early seventies, we sold our farmhouse and bought forty acres of land across the street in 
North Andover, which adjoined the Harold Parker State Forest. We built our home, a separate 
indoor riding hall with an observation room, office, and an apartment upstairs. We also built a 
forty stall bam for our horses. Our land was situated on a hill that overlooked the North Shore 
and the skyline of Boston in the distance. 

Attending horse shows around the country and running our breeding farm gave us great pleasure 
and satisfaction. We had many successes and are proud of the many trophies we have acquired 
over the years. 

My two children, a son and a daughter, share our enthusiasm for horses and love animals. They 
both own Arabians. My son. Chip, is a Breeding Manager for one of the largest Arabian horse 
farms in the coimtry. His only child, daughter Travis, won the United State National 
Championship in an all Arabian horse show in Oklahoma. They live in North Carolina. My 
daughter, Carlene, is a self-employed real estate developer and has three children. She enjoys 
horseback riding, is very creative and excels in interior decorating. Carlene and her family live 
in Georgia. 

When we sold our farm and horse breeding business in North Andover, I moved to downtown 
Boston, in the Prudential Center at Copley Square. It was a different lifestyle and I loved it. 
From there, I purchased the condominium I live in now at Lincoln Wharf in Boston's North End. 
I enjoy my view overlooking Boston Harbor and Logan Airport. It is in close proximity to the 
airport, making it easy for me to commute back and forth working as Tour Manager. 

Remember Virginia Day (Borgatti)? She and I were Maid of Honor at each other's wedding. 
We have kept in touch through the years, along with Eileen Hitchcock (Thibeau) and Marjorie 
Johnston (Dyas) and Emily Clements (Doucette). We partied a lot in the old days and spent 
many happy moments together. On occasion, we visit Ginny at her home in Maine and Emily at 
her condo in Florida. Emily always spends a few days with me before heading back to Florida 
on her Massachusetts visits. 

Many new friends have come into my life over the years, good, caring friends. But my high 
school classmates have always been, and always will be, the sisters and brothers that I never had. 
I guess you can't beat that. 


Bernie Doucette Lynch 

23 Delaney Avenue 
Tewksbury, MA 01876 

After High School, I went to business school in Boston. They located a job for me at the 
First National Stores offices in Somerville, where I worked for four years. I then found a 
job that was nearer to home at the J. W. Greer Company in Wilmington. That is where I 
met my husband George. We met while bowling in the Greer bowling league together. 

George and I were married in 1950 and lived in our home on Grove Avenue in Wilmington, for 
twenty-eight years until he passed away. During the time I was married, I worked for the W. T. 
Grant store at the Wilmington Plaza doing office work for nine years. After the store went out of 
business I went to work for T. J. Max in their store office. 

I moved away from Wihnington after my husband died. I joined my twin sister, Beatrice, who 
lives in Florida, north of Tampa. I lived there for six years but just couldn't take the heat and 
humidity and decided to move back up north again. Bea and I always keep in touch by phone at 
least once a week. She just got a new computer and trying to call her now is frustrating. The 
line is always busy. 

I returned to Tewksbury, in 1996 to an apartment that friends told me about. Due to high 
expenses, I later applied for elderly housing and was accepted. I live there now and love living 
here since it is conveniently located near the center, shopping, church and the Tewksbury Senior 
Center, which is where I spend most of my days. They provide for much of my entertainment. I 
even learned how to play pool (billiards) there and that is one of my favorite pastimes now. I 
have met a lot of people from Wilmington there and also made many new friends. 

I used to keep in touch with former classmate, Alice Rooney, and sometimes Liz Himtley. I also 
saw Charlotte Moore once in a while, but the only time I see them now is at class reunions. I 
enjoy my hobbies of arts and crafts and also enjoy making puzzles. I take numerous tours and 
trips to different places which I enjoy. 

Living and growing up in Wilmington, on Parker Street, I was one of eight children. My tvdn 
sister, Beatrice, and I were always together back then. I never thought I would end up living in 
Tewksbury, but I do love living here. 

I have always enjoyed our school reunions and hope to see you all at another one. Love to all. 


Estella Downes Flynn 

15 Isabella Street 
Stoneham, MA 02180 

The reason why I did not make the last reunion is because my husband had recently passed 
away. He suffered from lung disease and a bad heart for three years before he died at age 
seventy-four, in January, 2002. We celebrated our 50* wedding anniversary in October, 
and he died the following January. We got married in 1951, and had a good life together. We 
moved to Stoneham after we married and lived in our first house for fifteen years, then moved 
across the street to my present home for thirty five years. All my wonderful neighbors have 
lived in our neighborhood for that long too. I feel fortunate to live in such a close knit 

After high school I was employed as a secretary for a wholesale furniture store in Reading, and 
worked there for five years. I met my husband, Joseph, on a blind date. He was an equipment 
operator for the town of Stoneham for forty years before retiring. 

If I had my life to live over, I probably would have had a career in a field pertaining to children. 
I have four daughters and nine grandchildren. Most of my time is taken up with baby sitting, a 
job I really was made for. My love of children and being with them, is my reward in life. Taking 
care of my neighbors' children, along with my own, keeps me in touch with those I love most. 

When not tending to my children, my other hobbies also keep me busy. There is always a jigsaw 
puzzle on the table, when one is finished, another one is ready to take its place. I love the 
challenge of doing them. Knitting and taking long walks are also important on my list of things 
to keep me occupied. 

Can you imagine, I do not drive? That has become an inconvenience for me since my husband's 
demise. However, my children and neighbors always seem to be there to drive me when the 
need arises. Not driving keeps me in better condition since I have to walk everywhere. 

When I moved to Wilmington, I was in the fifth grade. My family bought a farm near the West 
Street area. Our family consisted of twelve children, eight boys and four girls. I haven't kept in 
touch with my classmates since moving to Stoneham. Being rather shy as a kid, I kept to myself 
a lot. I do remember with affection, John Elia's mom and dad. When I first met them they 
spoke broken English, but they were really outgoing, caring people who made me feel important. 
Everyone around loved them, I guess. My husband liked the family too and thought John was a 
"fun" type of guy. Those were the "happy" times I remember in Wilmington. I often visit my 
brothers who still live in Wilmington. 

I visited with my daughter, who moved into a new home in Clermont, Florida (near Orlando). 
She was insistent that mom see her new place. Many of my relatives on both my father's and 
mother's side live in Vermont. That is a favorite state of mine. I love it and vacation there a lot. 
There are plenty of relatives' homes to visit. 


Tonight, my oldest daughter is coining over to visit with me. She is fifty-one years old and has 
cancer in both her breasts, liver, spine and brain. She has had chemo for three years now and is 
doing remarkable well. She is not bedridden and is up and about. She is always upbeat and is 
an inspiration to all of us. What can you do, but live it one day at a time. 

The greatest blessing I have is my family. It is nice to hear fi"om my former classmates fi*om 
Wilmington, who haven't forgotten me even though I moved away. It is nice to keep in touch 
after all these years. I am looking forward to receiving this book of our lives. It should be very 


John Elia 

344 Salem Street 

Wilmington, MA 01887 

Johne 1 @prodigy .net 

I was bom on January 31, 1929, over the grocery store at the comer of West and Lowell 
Streets. Mike was also bom at home. My mother Olga, sister Olga, and grandmother had 
come to the USA from Albania two years prior. My father had arrived many years earlier. 
He pedaled bananas on a push cart. He wanted his kids to live in the country and bought the 
property in 1923 for $4000. He later went back to the old country and married my mother, and 
shortly after, brought my mother, sister Olga and grandmother to Wilmington. 

I had a very stable youth; we spoke Albanian in the home and had few friends outside of the 
clan. I went to the Maple Meadow School on Bay Street off Lowell Street across the street from 
what used to be Avco. The Maple Meadow was a great school, four classes in two rooms with 
great teachers, Helen Pattin being one of them. Probably the best school I ever attended. I met 
lifelong friends there: The Moore's, Foy's , Gammon's, Drew's , Palmer's, Hitchock's, Willy 
Thomas, Bill Peters, Robert Soule, Al Balkus, Ted Wicks, Barbara Murray, etc. The kids I went 
to the Maple Meadow with turned out to be my best friends forever and I have valued their 

The West Street kids went to the Whitfield for the fifth grade before the Center School. We all 
met at the Center. It was at the Center School that the rest of us all got together. I have always 
thought that the kids that were at the Center School were our class, whether or not they 

I was very shy and quiet at this time. Up to this point, English was my second language. My 
grandmother, who c^ne over at age 65, never spoke English and so we all spoke Albanian in the 
home. I can remember not having the confidence to raise my hand and answer questions. 

I think this was the year World War II started. I remember Sparky Bean marching us out onto 
the bank in front of the Buzzell School and telling us to go right home before the bombs started 

We went on to high school, which for me was not eventfiil. I did get over my shyness and with 
the help of bad people, Soule, Balkus, Swainee, Rufiis, and others. We had a good time, and did 
a little cutting up. Probably no one remembers that I never had a date through high school, never 
going to the prom or taking girls to the movies. 

We had some pretty good teachers at the high school. George Kambour being the best. We also 
had some lousy teachers, which I will not name. I never got involved in high school sports. I 
headed home and put in my hours behind the counter. Marguerite says that's why I am good at 
math. We had no electronic registers in those days, not even the noisy mechanical ones. 

A bunch of us went to college in Boston and it was a wonderfijl time to be going to college. Our 
classes were half returning veterans at BU. It was the death of the beanie and freshman rah rah. 


I went to Boston University, Bill Peters to Northeastern, Jack Reagan to BC, Ted Wicks to 
Bentley. Liz Huntley also went to BU. Rufus went to Huntington, Muriel to Radcliff, Burtt to 
Tufts, Fred to Lowell Tech, etc. The Boston crowd all rode the streetcars and trains together and 
had some great years. We went to bean pot hockey at the Arena and really got to be friends but 
we argued about everything. 

I attended the Boston University College of Business Administration and graduated in June, 
1951, with a BS in Business Administration and got married to Marguerite Ryan six days later. 
My friends thought it was a shot gun wedding but the gestation was three years. 

I had qualified for a direct commission in the U.S. Navy as a supply corps officer but it didn't 
work out as my draft number came up before my time to get sworn in. The navy had no quota 
for me at the time so friend of the family Henry Chin, a Navy recruiting officer, persuaded me to 
attend officer candidate school at Newport Rhode Island which I did, earning a commission as an 
Ensign in June of 19522. That was a challenging program for a business major but thanks to 
George Kambour, I made it. 

From there I was assigned to the mine force in Charleston, South Carolina, on a Mine Sweeper. 
I spent a year up and down the east coast, on a 185 foot mine sweeper which I enjoyed very 
much (It was one of the best things that ever happened to me.) even though I suffered from 
motion sickness and got sea sick every time out. I had all kinds of responsibilities on the ship. I 
was the operations division officer, commissary officer, supply officer and stood watches as 
officer of the day as well as officer of the deck. 

From there I got transferred to Little Creek, Virginia, the amphibious base where I became 
telephone officer, and assistant communications officer, as well as division officer, with 85 men. 
I volunteered for all kinds of schools and one that I was sent to was the School of Naval Justice 
in Newport which gave me the responsibility of doing trial work, much like JAG on TV but only 
for special court martials, (incidentally we didn't wear white uniforms while working, that's only 
on TV). Lee Bailey and Joe Oteri, prominent Boston lawyers, were two of my classmates. I 
enjoyed the navy, it gave me all kinds of responsibilities and a chance to get out of Wilmington 
to see and meet others. OCS was a great experience. I met people from all over the country, 
many from prestige schools. There were 800 in our class, 500 graduated. I was gratefijl for 
George Kambour. I probably wouldn't have graduated without his math courses. 

I eventually got out in 1954. Michelle, my oldest daughter, was bom a month later while we 
lived with Marguerite's parents in Littleton, MA. Three years later, Meredith was bom. I spent 
a year with a food broker in Boston, and a year at a super market in Lawrence. I later stumbled 
on a piece of land in North Wilmington across from Buck Bros, which I bought for $1,400.00. 
This purchase led to us consummating the Buck Bros, purchase. I did it all on a shoe string but 
we kept at it and made a living. A while later, my brother, Mike, got out of the service and 
joined me in the business. We modernized the store, did some promoting, eventually buying out 
Altman's Little Giant Liquors, which gave us additional volume without any additional 


I bought the North Wihnington post office which was paying peanuts in rent and could not jack 
up their rent so I talked them into me building them a new post office on the lot I had earlier 
purchased across from the store and we were on our way in the real estate business. Wilmington 
was growing and I added on to the property getting up to 15 stores in the complex. I acquired 
other land in Wilmington, the field behind Charlotte's house and Balcom's land along side my 
father's store, as well as the Minot Anderson property. I did some speculative building in town, 
building spec housing on land I would pick up. I also built a couple of post offices, which I sold 

My wife pays me the compliment of calling me a visionary. I bought the house on Salem Street 
which we still own in 1959 for $11,000. The owners didn't want it because of all the traffic 
route 93 would generate. A lot of people did not see this as a boon for the town and that it would 
make Boston 1 5 minutes from Wilmington. 

Soon after we had our third daughter, Tara, who has been living in New York City and working 
on TV shows, Rosie, Saturday Night Live, John Stewart, Nickelodeon, The Chris Rock Show, 
etc. My oldest daughter, Michele, was married to Bill and Cathy Jensen's son, Peter, and had me 
three grandsons,. Meredith went to L.A. and had one son before dying in an automobile accident 
in Reading. 

By accident, I got into the ski business. Most of our "success" came because of obstacles that 
were put in my way... When we tried to expand the little shop in North Wilmington, which was 
really a hobby, the town fathers shot us down and we built the Ski Haus on Lowell street which 
became very successfiil, becoming number 2 or 3 in New England. 

When winter snows didn't come, I would buy out competitors and expand the operation. We 
ended up with seven stores, Wihnington, Newburyport, Waltham, Salem, New Hampshire, and 
Acton, as well as two leased departments in the former Coleman's stores. Around 1987, 1 sold 
the ski business to Ski Town in Braintree, and 3 years later took the stores back when they went 
broke. I gave the business to my sister, Helen, and her sons and they are still active. We collect 
the rent, which is easier than working. 

I built more commercial properties and bought some at auction. We are now thinking of selling 
some of it, even though we just built a new Elia's Country Store, which I think many people like 
and shop there. I am not active in the grocery business. We have done some traveling, which we 
enjoy. I've been all over the Caribbean, England, France, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Mexico 
and Korea. I've skied all over New England, Canada and the Rockies. Still skiing at age 74, I 
have a ski chalet at Mittesill, which is in Franconia, New Hampshire, on the back side of Cannon 
Mountain. I bought this for a grandson who was suffering from Leukemia. I am happy to say he 
is in remission and seems to be doing well. We are currently expecting a baby from our 
youngest, Tara, who married an actor/writer a couple of years ago. I am looking forward to this 
as I can't keep up with my four grandsons and I need new companions. 

Seven years ago, I purchased at auction a former fire station in Oak Bluffs on Martha's 
Vineyard, that is across the street from the harbor. I remodeled the building, renting the lower 
level to a sweat shirt shop and we made a loft apartment on the upper floor. We don't get there 


often enough but my kids and wife really like it. It's a completely different life style for us. We 
have great beaches on the island. Celebrities, artists, writers, etc, are always coming and going. 

I started playing golf abut 10 years ago. Bob Swain and I played every Thursday during the golf 
season. Personally, I have been pretty healthy. I have broken bones from skiing, and bike 
riding which got me in the hospital. I am still able to eat com on the cob and apples without a 
jackknife. My wife thinks I have become deaf and my eyes are going. My brother-in-law says 
they are the 2"^ and 3"^^ things to go, 

Best wishes to all my friends and class mates. 


Robert W. Findlay 

239 Bowery Beach Road 
Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107 

I. Education 

BOSTON UNIVERSITY. College of Business 
Administration, Boston Mass. 

MBA Major field - finance June 1 964 

Evening College, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 
January 1956 to June 1956 

BOSTON UNIVERSITY. College of Business 
Administration, Boston, Mass 

B. S. in Business Administration - Major Field, 
Accounting, June 1955 

II, Work Experience Now Retired 

July 1967-1993 UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MAINE. Portland, Mame 

Professor of Accounting (Emeritus); Chairman of 
Accounting Department (5 years). Acting dean. School of 
Business, Economics and Management (8/77-8/79) 


June 1967 FINANCE. Boston. Massachusetts 

Associate Professor of Accounting 

Feb 1 959- BOSTON UNIVERSITY. Evening Division, Boston, 

June 1960 Massachusetts 

Lecturer in Accoimting 

July 1 956 - COOPERS E. LYBRAND (Price Waterhouse - Coopers) July 

1960 Boston, Massachusetts 

Staff Accountant 


July 1956 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

Graduate Student Training Program in Accounting 

Certified Public Accountant - Maine 

Seasonal Summer Residence Damariscotta Lake, Noblegold, ME 
Winter: Naples, Florida 



Married to Shirley M. Findlay (1955) 

David W. Findlay, Professor, Colby College, ME 
Children Jonathan, Amanda (Twins) 10 years old 

Elizabeth W. Bishop, Officer, Bank One, Chicago, IL 
Children, Caroline (9 years old), Martha (6 years old) 


Gerrie Fitch McKenna 

2600 Lakeshore Road 
Gilford, NH 03246 

It is interesting where the journeys of our hves take us. When I graduated form Wiknington 
High School in 1947, 1 had never dreamed of the life I was about to lead. I had spent all of 
the summers of my life on the shores of Lake Wumipesaukee, in Gilford, New Hampshire. 
My fiiends and I, whom had summered there, had definitely decided long ago that we would all 
either become teachers or nurses. We liked the fact that they had long summer vacations in those 
jobs and we could meet and lounge together every summer in our wonderful summer paradise. 
Rainy days always found us at the Colonial Theater in Laconia. We always ended up meeting 
Mrs. Webber and Julia there. They would be escaping the rain at their simmier retreat on Lake 
Winnisquam. Mrs. Webber was one of my favorite teachers at Wilmington High. 

As teachers, we would be fulfilling our civic duties as citizens in our society by helping people 
learn academically and how to live rewarding lives. We would reward ourselves by having our 
summers in our chosen paradise. If we were nurses, we would help to save lives and to help 
make people well and happy. We could swim, sun ourselves on the beach, dance every night in 
the pavilion, and on special occasions, go to Irwin Gardens at the Weirs to dance and listen to the 
music and singing of well known bands and personalities. 

During the summer of 1947, we listened to our many veteran fiiends there, just back fi*om 
WWII. Instead of the gory war stories which were probably haunting their minds, they talked 
about the opportunities for traveling the world. It sounded intriguing. Having been an airplane 
spotter (in the field beside the Nitchie's house on Chestnut Street in Wilmington) and a member 
of the Junior Auxiliary (under the direction of Mrs. Martin) my patriotic heart called to me. 
"Join the Navy" it said, "and see the world while serving our wonderful country." As I write 
this, I recall Dorothy Smith telling me she joined up to see the world and met her husband in the 

Due to having had scarlet fever at an early age and a water accident in my early teens, I 
discovered a 90% hearing loss disqualified me from serving my country in that capacity. 

In September of 1947, I followed the crowd and the lead of my best friend from summers at 
"The Lake". I went to work at John Hancock Insurance Company in Boston. 

Education reaches out to all of us. It changes our lives and takes us to many places. Across the 
street fi*om John Hancock Insurance Co. was the YWCA, where I swam almost daily, earning my 
Senior Life Saving Certificate and soon after my WAI (Water Safety Instructor's Certificate. 

Boston Evening School also captured me, where I started studying college level chemistry and 
law. People had been telling me for years, since I enjoyed a good and intellectual argument so 
much, I should become a lawyer. It was there that I discovered how well Wilmington High 
School had prepared us for our lives to come. If I ever thought I was in control of my own 
destiny, I was soon to learn differently. 


I began to have trouble with my right heel. Some kind of fragment, a piece of shell, rock, glass, 
or whatever had found it's way to the nerve ending and causing any weight placed on that to 
produce great pain. My choices were an operation or electronic needle treatments. An operation 
seemed too ominous, therefore, the needle treatments were begim. It seemed that these 
treatments were still in the experimental stage and results were not entirely predictable. The 
fragment, and with it the pain, were removed, but it caused a shortening of the tendons which left 
me with a considerable limp. The expectations were that it was likely the shortening would 
continue to increase. 

I had learned in Sunday School or Rainbow or somewhere, "God never closes one door without 
opening another." This condition caused me to lose much time at my studies and led me to what 
was to become a large part of my life's work. 

I started ballet training to improve the condition of the shortened tendon. I fell in love with 
music, dance, gymnastics and the teaching of that whole ball of wax. I was a complete captive. 
The use of these skills, when developed, led me to using these mediums as a therapy for many 
problems of children and adults. Doctors and therapists sent many patients recovering from 
operations, accidents and other aberrations to dance lessons, especially during the horrors of the 
polio epidemic of the 50's. Therapists were so overloaded, they had no way to handle the needs. 

I always knew I loved music from a very early age. In Rainbow, I sang in the choir with many 
of our classmates. Roberta Hillis, Liz Huntley, Verda Johnson, Dottie Smith, Julia Webber, and 
another of our classmates, Muriel Martin, accompanied us on the organ. I still often hum that 
march she played for us. I was not very good at that singing and, in fact, I was so shy, I was 
frightened half to death. 

I continued to be employed at John Hancock while studying dance, elocution, music and related 
subjects. The dancing led me to joining a Boston based Red Cross Show Troop. We entertained 
at V.A. Hospitals and army and navy bases all over New England and beyond. Also, and most 
importantly, this is where I met my husband. Jimmy was an exhibition roUerskater and dancer in 
the troop. Being a new teacher in the studio where I taught, I was low man (or woman) on the 
totem pole. Therefore, I was compelled to work with those members of the troop, who did not 
practice their dance routines. The number of times I threatened to quit if I had to teach that 
"Jimmy McKenna" one more time, are many. That was when we were in our teens and twenties. 
While studying and teaching, I continued to be employed at John Hancock for five years to the 
day, September 29, 1952, when I left to teach fiill time. 

On April 29, 1956, Jimmy McKenna and I were married. At that time, I owned and operated a 
dance school in Burlington, Massachusetts. I was, and had been for five years, a teacher of 
dance, gymnastics, cheerleading and drill in Wells, Maine, Elementary, Junior High and High 
Schools. One of the most rewarding programs I taught there in Wells, was to elementary school 
age children with learning handicaps. Awareness of the value of music and dance to children 
challenged by mathematics, reading and some other subject matter, was nil. I taught in Wells, 
two days per week, one day in Burlington, one day in the Governor Allen Estate in Norwood, 
Massachusetts, and three days in Hyde Park, teaching dance, music and drum corps. During 
these years I taught, directed, and produced many shows and recitals with anywhere from six to 


over a hundred of my students performing in them. We marched io parades in South Boston, 
Charlestown, Hyde Park, Burlington and many other places in the New England area, as well as 
participation in Drum and Bugle Corps competitions, the ceremonies of opening of, dedication or 
re-dedication of streets, parks and buildings in Boston and surrounding cities and town. Jimmy 
and I danced for the Boston Parks Department, both before and after our marriage. 

During the next twenty years of our life was a busy blur of activity, raising children (we had 
many) while pursuing the many wonderftil opportunities presented by life in the United States of 
America. We are so fortunate to be here! 

To touch on some of the pursuits which I have been privileged to enjoy, I shall here offer a few. 
Many of these were occurring simultaneously: 

• Dancing schools in Mattapan, Stoughton, and Easton Ma, helping and grooming my 
students to teach at the Neighborhood House in Jamaica Plain, MA (offering 
opportunities for low income families) 

• Cub Scout Den Leader, Den Leader Coach, (Jimmy was Pack Cub Master, son of Al 
Manson was in that pack, his daughter was in my dance classes.) 

• Cub Scout Leader for up to 23 boys each of 9 years at the hospital school in Canton, MA. 
I brought helpers from my dance school, students and/or parents, children from my 
church youth group or boys from other cub dens in our pack. Many of the boys at the 
school were severely handicapped, mostly physically, and needed one on one assistance. 
Dance councilor for girl scouts Mattapan, Burlington, Stoughton, and Easton, MA 
Music and Swimming Councilor for Boy Scouts, Stoughton, MA 
Rec-Therapist for the state of Massachusetts 

Trainer for Junior Miss (High school seniors compete for scholarship money)-sponsored 
by the local JC's — winners compete at a local, state and then national level. 
Choreographer for a town wide production of "God Spell" 
Organizer for a town wide choir group of boys. 
Paid youth director for a Universalist Church 
Organizer for a children's choir for boys and girls 
Sunday School teacher for three different churches 
Paid youth director for a Methodist Church 

Organizer, teacher and director of variety shows for many different churches of several 
different denominations, temples, senior citizens and other groups 

Tutor for students in need of help (I did this from grade 6 through grade 10 when I was in 
school in Wilmington 

Part of programming teams for severely handicapped children 

Participated with other students from Massachusetts College of Art in work to 
accomplish Handicap Parking Laws and Handicap Access to Building and Toilet 
Facilities. This also included the legislature to make available fimding for people in need 
of making their homes wheelchair accessible. 

Participated in fimd raising for Heart Fund, Arthritis, Muscular Dystrophy and other like 
worthy causes. These participations were often accomplished with the help of many of 
my students and often included parents of students as well 


• Taught Physical Education to 450 (give or take a couple each year) students in Brockton, 
MA, schools every week for six years. This continued until we sold our home in Easton 
and moved into our summer cabin 

In this park where we live now, we had for many years been an active part of the Association. In 
1975, all the people of our association bought the park. In the five years prior to the purchase of 
the park, Jimmy had been the President of the Association. We had, with lots of friends here, 
been running all of the activities for the adults and for many more years than that, all of the 
children's programs. 

When we moved up to New Hampshire, we intended to be retired and would be doing quite a bit 
of traveling. After a couple of years, we had had enough of that. Jimmy bought a security 
business and I decided to go back to teaching part time. 

I was, for three years, director of the summer day camp for the town of Sanbomton. I applied for 
a part time position as a sub for the "Before and After School Program" in my home town of 
Gilford. I wanted just one or two days a week or one or two days a month. It turned out that I 
was working every day, every week and they were pressing for me to become the director of the 
program. Soon they asked to put my name on as director, "just for now". That was nine years 
ago. I guess this is still "just for now". The children are five to twelve years old. I love the 
program and shall probably stay with it for at least another ten or fift;een years. I also work as a 
respite person for "Headstart" a couple of days each week while my school children are at their 
schools. The powers that be would like it to be more but this time I am standing firm. I have the 
agreement with both jobs that when I want time off, I get it, with no questions asked. They have 
honored that and I do get to travel, but just a bit. I like it to be a dependably constant time for 
"my" children. I get to have them for five and six years running. I love my life. 

A most important part of my life has been the raising of my many children. In August of 1958, 
my oldest son and only biological child was bom to Jimmy and me. What a blessing children 
are. They change your whole outlook on life. 

In February, 1958, one of my dearest friends died unexpectedly. A few days before, as I was 
telling her about my joy of expecting a child in the coming summer, she told me I would be a 
wonderful mother and if anything ever happened to her she hoped I would raise her eleven year 
old daughter. Janet always brought me great joy. She, and my new baby, Bruce, were very 
close. She was a stewardess with American Airlines for 18 years and a great love and inspiration 
in all of our lives. 

At age thirty-eight, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Her greatest wish at that time was to 
see her nearly five year old son, William, grow to be a man. Her life expectancy at that time was 
tops two years. On May 29, 2001, she gave up her long courageous struggle, just two days after 
Will graduated from Cornell College in Ithaca, New York. She was blessed with the most 
wonderfully dedicated and compassionate husband and son any woman could ever wish for. 
Janet was a joy to all who knew her. Her husband, Frank, will forever be a hero to me and all of 
us who loved Janet. We shall love him for eternity. 


In September, 1964, Peter, nearly six years old, and Debora, just barely four, came to live with 
us. In the spring of 1966, they became a real part of our family with their adoption. Debby has 
an eighteen year old son, Shawn, and a one year old daughter, Leighanne. 

Our son, Bruce, lives just about one mile from us here in Gilford. Bruce and his wife, Jennifer, 
have three children, Brianne is in college in Utica, N. Y. Tyson is seventeen and a senior at 
Gilford High School and Brittani, an eighth grader in Gilford Middle High. 

We are all healthy and looking forward to many more happy years to go. 


Joe Gilligan 

144 Chestnut Street 

Wilmington, MA 01887 

Bachelor's degree for Saint Anselm College in 1 95 1 
Married, after a whirlwind romance of seven years, (perhaps it wasn't as whirlwind as I 
thought) to the former Patricia Tighe in 1955. 
Master's degree from Boston University in 1959 

Retired after forty-four unremarkable years as an employee of the Wilmington Public School 
system in 1998. 

In the meantime. . . 

Delivered propane gas (and generally succeeded to wrestling those tanks to the ground), 
attempted to teach ten young ladies the game of tennis (with limited success), painted schools in 
Winchester and in East Boston (not well but what the hell), painted two houses of former friends 
(neither of whom asked me to repeat the process), drove a big bus (thereby transporting captive 
audiences across state lines), assembled door and window frames (which are very likely an 
integral part of somebody's home even at this late date), gave a course on baseball fundamentals 
(some instruction went unheeded), went sailing on a big ship (at government expense), fathered 
six former children (now adults of course thus no longer children), delivered hundreds of 
newspapers (before you were awake), guarded the gates of our local rodent farm (after you went 
to bed), drove a taxi (for a now defimct company through no fault of mine), dug holes in the 
ground six feet by three in approved and appropriate sites (and actually found a body in the 
cemetery - imagine that!). 

Of course, I did not do all of these things at the same time, but as you see, I kept pretty busy. 

I am no longer pretty busy because I am doing what I always promised myself (and others who 
inquired as to my intentions) to do when retired which is to not be pretty busy. 



John Good 

62 Famham Street 
North Andover, MA 01 845 

enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in June, 1948 and in appreciation, in August, 1950, they 
provided me with an all expenses paid trip to Korea. I received my discharge in May 1952. 

After four years of school, I married Carol in September, 1956. I went to work for Liberty 
Mutual Insurance Company in November, 1956. In March, 1962, I was transferred to New 
Castle, Pennsylvania, and lived there for five years. My three daughters were bom in 
Pennsylvania. Subsequently, I was transferred to Atlanta, Georgia, where my two sons were 
bom. We moved back to Massachusetts in 1966 and settled in North Andover. 

I retired from Liberty Mutual in 1992 and joined the National Sales Department in the Haverhill 
Country Club and have been attempting to improve my golf game ever since. 

Our family has grown with the addition of nine grandchildren. Carol and I are still in the big 
house in North Andover with our 40 year old retarded son, Steve, but are leaning towards 
downsizing soon. 



Dick Goss 

1 1226 Versailles Lane 
Port Richey, Florida 34668 

hat ever happened to Dick Goss? Well. . .From 1948 Graduation to the present. 


• Abeijona Division of General Food Corp. in Wobum for about three years 

• Boston Stove Foundry in Reading - wiring electric stoves for about five years. 

• Mystic Transformers of Winchester and Wilmington as Quality Control Manager 
for ten years. 

• General Radio Company of Concord and Bolton as a Transformer Technician for 
twenty years. 

• Retired from General Radio in 1985. 

First marriage was for eight years and wife passed away after open heart surgery. This 
marriage produced two daughters, both now living in the Virginia and Maryland areas. 
They are married with children. 

Second marriage has been forty-four years and going strong. This marriage has produced 
three children... a son and twin daughters. My son is living in Massachusetts and is 
married with one son. One daughter lives in Florida with her children. The other lives in 
Massachusetts and is married with no children. 

So... I have five children, ten grandchildren and five and one-half great-grandchildren. 
Who would have thought it! 


• Lake Street, Wilmington, for a short time... then Burlington Avenue for a short 

• South Tewksbury, Arkansas Road for about five years 

• Built a home on Forest Street, Wilmington, near Burlington and stayed there 
about three years. 

• Built another home in North Billerica and stayed there for about twenty years 
until I retired. 

• Then built a home in Hudson Florida, and stayed ten years. 

• Health (as in "old age") caught up to us so we sold and moved into a condo in 
Port Richey, Florida 

Sorry, I couldn't elaborate more than this, of course, volumes could be written about, but 
time is of the essence. 

Regards to all 


Eileen Hitchcock Thebeau 

6 Simcrest Avenue 
Wilmington, MA 01887 

I was blessed with a close-knit family, and a strong, dedicated mother who was always there 
for the six of us. I guess that is the reason I could never leave Wilmington and live 
elsewhere. I am too family oriented for that. I keep myself busy helping my older siblings, 
my kids, and grandkids. My life revolves around my family circle. 

I married Dick Thebeau in 1949. He was a Clinical Engineer at the Brigham and Women's 
Hospital in Boston. We have three children, Linda, Lisa and John, two granddaughters, Jillian 
and Paige, and one grandson, Joseph. We built our home on Suncrest Avenue in Wilmington, 
and I have lived there ever since, hi 1971, we bought our summer home in Ellsworth, Maine, on 
the waterfront of Graham Lake. During my stay in Maine, I spent many happy hours with my 
family and also took time out to do charity work helping the elderly in nearby nursing homes. 

I worked winters on the west coast of Florida and later changed our vacations over to the east 
coast in Pompano Beach for five years. Emily Clements lived practically next door and had 
played tennis at my complex. We shopped at the same stores. I walked by her building each day 
and yet we never met each other during that whole time. I now vacation in Fort Lauderdale. I 
usually telephone Emily to have lunch with me and this last winter, Peggy Denton was visiting, 
and the three of us enjoyed lunch together vdth lots of laughs, reminiscing about our good old 
days in Wilmington. 

Growing up on West Street had a profound effect on my life. John Elia's family were not only 
outstanding business people in town, but also good Samaritans as well, who genuinely cared and 
looked after their neighbors. They were like having a "second" family and were always there 
when you needed them most. The West Street Gang, Norm and Evelyn Arbo, John Good, John 
Elia, Charlotte and Barbara Moore, the Balcolms, were not only notable people, but wonderful 
friends to share my youth with as well. Our big outing in those days was in either going to the 
movies or George's restaurant to "hang out" at the center. 

School friends I have stayed in touch with and had a great time socializing with during my early 
married years were, Virginia Day, Marge Johnston, Peggy Denton and Emily Clements. We also 
had many fiiends from Reading, who were Virginia Day's neighbors. Those were carefree, 
happy times when our children were small. 

I feel closely bonded to Wilmington, having lived here all my life. Everything I value most is 
here, my children, grandchildren, my family, great friends and classmates. What more could I 
want? I have seen many changes through the years, but the one thing that could never change is 
my love for Wilmington 


John Hourihan 

55 Lake Street 
Tewksbury, MA 01876 

To anyone living in the Silver Lake district of Wilmington, in the forties, Tattersall's 
Variety Store was a prominent landmark. Students gathered inside on cold winter days to 
keep warm while waiting for the school bus to arrive. Locals dashed in and out all day, 
buying anything from newspapers to ice cream. Since my parents owned the store, I was enlisted 
to work there. Hand packing ice cream in those days was hard work and a job I really disliked. 
But what I wouldn't give today to have some of that good old-fashioned ice cream they don't 
make anymore. 

After graduating from High School, I worked frill time for my parents at the store until 1950. 
From there I enlisted for four years in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. My 
first assignment was at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. From Texas, I went on 
to T5^dall Air Force Base in Panama City, Florida, where I met up with former classmates, 
Charlie Sullivan and Irving Buck. I was later transferred to Lowery Air Force Base in Denver, 
Colorado, to attend school. 

After finishing school, I was assigned just about as far north as I could go in the Aleutian Island 
chain - to Shemichi Air Force Base on Shemya Island for one year. Sounds like a real frigid 
place to be, but actually the temperature hovered around thirty degrees most of the time. Shemya 
Island was situated between the Bering Sea on one side and the Pacific on the other. We could 
shake hands with the international date line. There were only about 125 people on the whole 
island and the only others that we could shake hands with were sea lions and an occasional polar 
bear. I was assigned to the supply and materials division. It was a long way off for a kid from 
Wilmington to be and certainly was an unusual experience. 

My next assignment took me way back to the northeastern United States again, to Andrews Air 
Force Base, Washington, D. C. and I was happy about that. It turned out to be my lucky break in 
more ways than one. I met my wife, Sally Anderson, from Michigan there. She was with the 
Air Force, assigned to the Weather Service. We wanted to marry sooner than we did, but waited 
until May, 1955, when we both got out of the service, before marrying. 

We moved, as newlyweds, to our present home on Lake Street in Tewksbury. Our house edges 
close to the Wilmington/Tewksbury town line, so you see I just barely left my hometown of 
Wilmington. Life has been good, perhaps hectic at times, for a father competing with five 
daughters racing around the house. I was outnumbered by females and there was plenty of 
competition for the bathroom. Things have certainly quieted down since they have married. We 
are the proud grandparents of six grandchildren. 

I worked in the electronics field for forty-one years for companies in Lowell, and Waltham, 
before retiring. Sally and I enjoy our retirement years with our visiting married daughters and 
grandchildren. We both spend time as members of veteran's organizations and also do charity 
work. We are members of the Elks Club. 


I still live near Silver Lake. All the memories of my youth are here, the fun I used to have 
swimming and ice skating. Sure, the landscape has changed, but my memories haven't. It is 
nice to live near "home." 


Liz Huntley White 

2 Cedar Street 

Wilmington, MA 01887 


After graduating form Wilmington High School, I enrolled in Boston University, College 
of Arts. I received a Batchelor's degree with a major in Psychology and a minor in 
Sociology. I worked for a couple of years for an insurance company. Rather than 
accepting a promotion to head a department, I left, deciding to go back to college for a Master's 
degree in education. I consulted with our local superintendent about what courses I should take 
to become a teacher. What a surprise I got when, before I could register for classes, he called 
and offered me a job beginning in one week. It turned out to be very interesting. The class was 
housed in the old high school, in what was once a laboratory. The class consisted of fourth and 
fifth grade students, with a variety of abilities, slow learners to very brilliant and some with 
problems. The room had eighth grade books, everything had to be written on the blackboard as 
there was a shortage of paper. It was quite a learning experience and challenge! That year was as 
good an education as I could get. We did well. We all got promoted that year, even the teacher. 
Next year and thereafter I taught the fifth grade. Some of the fourth graders moved right along 
with me but nobody seemed to mind this. 

However, that experience made me want a good vacation. And it was a beaut! A fiiend from 
my insurance days quit her job and with my two months respite, we made out our own itinerary 
and plans and were off to see part of the world. We were on our own, sailing the ocean in the 
original Queen Elizabeth. Sailing with us was Mikhailovich Molotov, prominent Russian 
statesman and premier. We could look down upon him from the upper deck as he took his daily 
walk. Always with him were his bodyguards and food tasters. We had a great many experiences 
for a couple of "country bumpkins". Coming home we flew across the ocean in a constellation 
propeller plane that droned on and on for twelve hours. Jets were not used commercially yet. 
What an improvement! I sure was glad to land but I bet the fellow sitting next to me was 
happier. He "white knuckled" it all the way and for some reason used ajar of Vicks on his nose. 

It was back to work again. Evenings, afternoons and summertime was studying until I got a 
Master's degree in Elementary Education. I continued teaching for eight years until starting our 
family. It was a very rewarding job which I enjoyed as well as all the children. 

John and I married after an eight-year courtship. In the interim, we sowed our not so "wild oats" 
and built our own house in Wilmington. We had the help of many relatives and fiiends. So 
we're still rooted in the old town where we remained although we also had a retirement home in 
Florida. Deciding we would miss New England, family and friends, we sold this. And here we 
suffer through snow, ice, and freezing weather. 

The opportunity came later to go back to Austria, Germany and Switzerland for a month. This 
time it was with a cousin. We had found relatives and wanted to visit them. We hired a car and 
drove all over. Only once did my one year of German (so long ago) give us trouble.... when we 
followed a sign that led for miles before ending at a special hospital instead of where we 


intended to go. We stayed with relatives who ran a pensione in the Black Forest of Germany. 
Here we saw where our grandmother lived, went to church and played until she came to America 
at thirteen with her young sister. We stayed with our relatives in their family home which 
housed three families. Each family had to throw a party for us. No one had ever gone back to 
the "old country" so we were treated like royalty. We had barbeques, picnics, outings, etc. We 
were shown where our grandfather lived and was a shepherd in the summertime. Austria is very 
pleasant with all its music, parks, concerts and flowers. We wanted to take our hosts to a special 
concert so we got tickets to one performed on a floating stage, a disappointment to me that the 
play being performed that night was "West Side Story" - an American story. 

After marriage and one child, I did some subbing in the schools but did not care to continue with 
it. Then I discovered volunteerism and have done a number of different things, trying to 
contribute to the commxmity. Charlotte and I were very involved with the Community Schools 
for several years until it was turned over to the town. I spend some time with Family 
Counseling. For twenty-two years, since its inception, I have been appointed to the local Arts 
Council, being chairman for six years and am still an active member. I am a member of the one 
hundred year old Women' Club dedicated to helping local needs. I have been president of this 
four times. Do you remember the Carter Lectures held at the Grange Hall? Well, meet Madame 
Chairman of that committee. All of this from the girl voted the quietest girl in the senior class. 

Now I am enjoying having our son, his wife and a year and a half year old daughter living close 
by. Any leisure time is spent doing crafts, reading, a bit of traveling, doing jigsaw puzzles and 
watching figure skating on television. I am still trying to learn - now how to use the computer. 
Perhaps my favorite thing has been the building of a twenty-one room doll house with seventeen 
rooms done and four to go! These are separate rooms in a cabinet. 

It has been great to see those who attend our class reunions. I hope they continue. 


Verda Johnson Murray 

24 Old Fremont Road 
Raymond, NH 03077 

After graduating from high School, most of my friends headed fr)r the John Hancock Insurance 
Company. Honestly, it seemed like the whole city of Boston consisted of one huge insurance 
company. I wanted something different and was fortunate enough to find an office job with the 
Canada Steamship Lines, even though I was fresh out of high school. Later, I decided to change 
jobs, and wouldn't you know it, it was with an insurance company. No, it was not the John 
Hancock Company, but Factory Mutual Insurance. Roaming through the streets of Boston, I 
became familiar with the city and adjusted very well to my new life. 

All of this was going to take a drastic turn when I met the man who would become my fiiture 
husband. Roy Murray (who is Kay Hardy's brother) became the center of my life and we were 
married in 1 950. We lived in Massachusetts for one year and then decided we wanted to live in a 
more rural community. We both loved the countryside and chose New Hampshire as our fiiture 
home. It doesn't seem possible that Roy and I have been married 53 years already. Where did 
the time go? 

Roy is a retired independent contractor who did carpentry. We are proud of our beautifiil 
daughter and two handsome sons, they truly light up our lives and have blessed us with three 
grandchildren and one great grandchild. How lucky can we be? Our son, Edmund, works for 
Maine's largest newspaper. The Union Leader. Daughter, Linda, is employed by the Citizen's 
Bank. Son, David, works for Lomas Chemical Company. Fortunately for us, all our children 
live within a twenty minute ride our home and we are able to be together often. Watching and 
playing with our grandchildren are some of life's greatest pleasures. They are so much fim to be 
with and really keep us hopping. 

We have taken many vacations in one of our favorite places, Maine. Nova Scotia is the real 
favorite of ours. It is so peacefiil and quaint there, a pleasant place to be. Gardening in my yard 
is a favorite hobby of mine. I derive much pleasure from watching my flowers grow into 
something truly beautiful. 

My good friend and former classmate, Dottie Smith and I have remained close fiiends. We write 
to each other often. Dottie has relatives living in New Hampshire, and when she visits them, she 
always stops over to see me. The only other contact I've had with my classmates is with Gerry 
Fitch dropping by and very excitedly telling me all about the class reunion she had attended. I 
must admit, though, that occasionally I wonder about different classmates and what has become 
of them. Guess now I will find out when I read this book of ours. 


Al M anson 

130 Plain Drive 

Stoughton, MA 02072 

As you all know, 1947 was not a good year for job hunting. I gave myself six months to 
become employed, and if unsuccessful, I planned on enlisting in the service. Instead, I 
enrolled in the Stenotype Institute hoping to become a court reporter. I attended days 
and worked in Charley William's Box Factory evenings. When Charley closed his plant, I 
attended classes evenings and found a job working in a paper converting company as a 
secretary/salesperson trainee. As the pay was pretty low, I soon quit school, knowing I would 
never achieve the speed needed to be a success in the court room. To supplement my income, I 
sold Stanley Home Products. In 1949, my future wife was hired by the company as the 
President's secretary. There was a rule that employees couldn't date, but we managed and 
everyone was pleasantly shocked when in June, 1951, we announced our engagement. 

In December, 1950, 1 enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, reporting for duty in January, 1951. I spent 
two weeks in Texas, two years in upstate New York and two years in New York City. After 
getting married in September, 1951, we lived in Auburn, N.Y. Carol went to work in finance at 
the base. In April 1953, 1 was transferred to New York City and we lived on Long Island. Carol 
went to work as a secretary in the city. 

After discharge in December, 1954, we stayed in New York for a while. I was once again selling 
paper. I am probably the only person you know who walked every street in Manhattan. Missing 
New England, we moved back to Arlington, Mass. Eventually, I became the cost accountant of 
the company and then temporarily the plant superintendent. Production went up so much, I was 
offered the position permanently but refused and took a job with another paper company. After a 
year, this company sold out to RustCraft Greetings Cards. I went there as Product Manager of 
their party goods line. I volunteered my department to be the pilot unit for computerizing the 
company. In doing so, I became enthralled with this new machine. It offered a mental challenge 
and also career security. I became a systems analyst. From there, I went to work for American 
Mutual Insurance Companies. The next step was Systems and Programming Manager for 
Balfour, "jewelry's finest craftsmen." Soon after, I joined Honeywell's Education Department 
which eventually became Bull Information Systems. I retired from there in 1989. In 1990, I 
helped found Sonleas, Inc. where I was President and CEO. We disbanded in 1995. 

While at RustCraft, I got my Bachelors degree in Business Management from Northeastern 
University. While with Honeywell, I got my Masters in Business Education from Boston 
University. I have been teaching computer courses at Northeastern evenings for 38 years. I have 
also taught at Fisher, LaSalle, Bridgewater State, UMass, and Massasoit. 

After living in Stoughton for seven years, we designed and had built our present house.In 1966, 
Carol got the first of her two Master's Degrees and became a teacher at Walpole High. We have 
two children, Cheryl, in Chicago. She shocked many people by taking and passing three 
actuarial examinations in one day. She has since gone to law school and passed the bar. Son, 


Steven (a fellow Mensan), and his wife, Ann, have two children, Gregg, 8, and Beth 5. Steve is 
President and CEO of a software company. They live in Andover. 

Politically, I was a town meeting member in both Arlington and Stoughton and on the Stoughton 
Finance Committee. I also umpired Little League and managed a Babe Ruth baseball team. 

For church activities, I have taught Sunday school, was the Sunday School superintendent, head 
of the Board of Trustees, Auditor and Moderator. 

My hobbies or interests include chess. I was a rated player, playing in the Metropolitan league 
and entering local and national tournaments. At one time, I was into body building. I played 
Softball liiitil I became ah avid tennis player. I have had to give this up because of an ailing 
shoulder. I am now quite active in Mensa as a proctor using some of my USAF experience. A 
lot of time is taken up with my interest in magic. I am a member of the Society of American 
Magicians, the International Brotherhood of Magicians, and the Psychics Entertainers 
Association. I have been President of the local groups of both SAM and IBM and co-chaired 
several magic shows which featured international talent. Recently, I co-produced and acted in 
"An Evening with Lizzie" which is a program put on at the Lizzie Borden House. Besides 
teaching, I spend some time as a consultant solving computer problems. 

Although I do get to Wilmington often as my sister still lives there, I have not run into any of my 
former classmates. 


Muriel Martin Tribble 

2 Fairway Road 
Lido Beach, NY 1 1561-4822 

After college and graduate school in education, Harold Tribble and I were married on June 
28, 1952. He had just graduated from Andover-Newton with his Master's in theology. 
Following a year in Amherst, where he was assistant chaplain at Andover College and I 
taught fourth grade in North Amherst, we moved to North Carolina. Harry did more graduate 
work and served Southern Baptist churches near Raleigh and further east. I taught sixth grade in 
Durham and then our first two children, Sara and David were bom. 

In 1960 we moved to a U.C.C. (Congregational) church in Southern Virginia, where our 
daughter, Hannah, was bom. By 1965, we had the choice of going to U.C.C. church in 
Birmingham, Alabama, or one on Long Island, New York. We knew in our hearts that we 
wanted to be back "up north". And that's where we have been for 37 years. 

In 1966, 1 went back to teaching. I studied for a Master's in Library Science and then organized 
the first library-media center in the same school where I worked until retiring in 1993. I was an 
officer in the teacher's union and then served as vice-president and president of the Wantagh 
Retired Teachers until last August. 

We didn't travel much in the early years, except to Wilmington. Then in 1970 Harry's father 
gave the whole family a trip to Europe. Since then we've managed some travel in six continents 
as well as Tahiti and New Zealand. When Hannah and her husband moved to Montana and then 
Colorado nearly ten years ago we finally visited more of the westem part of our own country. 

Last may we took a cmise and land-tour of Alaska with Sara and her family to celebrate our 50 
wedding anniversary at a time when they could travel. It was fun to do something we had meant 
to do for years, especially with our (graduate student) granddaughter and (college student) 
grandson. They provided a whole new perspective. 

All in all, it has been a very good fifty-five years graduation fi-om WHS, but Wilmington is still 


Charlotte Moore Stewart 

35 Adams Street 
Wilmington, MA 01887 

I retired June, 2002, from a 17 year career as a geriatric social worker. My life, as I look 
back, has been busy. After having four sons it was a revelation when I began shopping with 
any of four older granddaughters. Elizabeth, at 8, setting the record, trying on over twenty 
bathing suits before her mother, out of pure desperation, made the final choice. 

At 18, I didn't know I was a "joiner" but I am. My interests continued changing through the 
years, i.e. Sunday School teacher, cub scout den mother, PTA member, L.W.U. where I learned 
to do my homework, chairperson of Wilmington Recreation Commission, Wilmington Family 
Counseling Board member. Board member of the group which began Wilmington community 
schools. I continued to be active in the L.W.U.s, Friends of the Library, the Golden Club. 
Barbara Bertwell Buck and I co-chair a garden therapy program at Wilmington's two nursing 
homes in one of which my mother and aunt lived out their lives. 

As have many of you, I've traveled (not as extensively as Emily who has been places I never 
knew were on the map). My favorite being the Highlands and Isle of Skye of Scotland where I 
visited the tiny island of Rassay which my great great grandfather wisely left. 

I also go to PEI, Canada, at least once each summer with friends, family, my sister Barbara and 
her husband, Paul Carpenter. You'll find us at the Annandale School House which we purchased 
forty plus years ago. My mother and father would be so pleased if they could know how much 
their grandchildren and great grandchildren enjoy the "Island." 

When I was 51,1 joined a fiiend in taking courses at a community college. One thing led to 
another and I received an Associates Degree in 1981, a Batchelor of Arts Degree, Magna Cum 
Laude from the University of Lowell in 1983, and a Masters in Social Work in 1985 from Simms 
School of Social Work. The first job I was offered was working with older people. This began 
my career as a geriatric social worker. I loved my job at Medford's Senior Center, working with 
seniors in my office and in their homes. In retirement I continue to be busy with fiiends, my 
various conmiittees, my family (watching the grandchildren play soccer, baseball, band concerts 
etc) gardening (shovel and wheel barrel), walking, reading. My greatest joy is helping with my 
youngest grandchildren, twins Cameron and Skye, now three years old. They have brought joy 
to our lives. 

I'd like to share with you some of the memories I ended my senior newspaper column with: 
Party lines 
Rag Curls 
Curtain stretchers 

May Day on the Common 
Ration Books 
Ink Wells 
Skates to grow into 



Catherine Murray Hardy 

1424 Garden Avenue 
Tarpon Springs, FL 34689 

can't believe it has been so long since we graduated ifrom good old Wilmington High 
School! I didn't write any Best Sellers and didn't produce an Oscar winning movie, but I've 
had a great life. 

Well, in 1950, Joe Hardy and I got married while he was in the Coast Guard and then after he 
got out of the service we had a son, Steven, who is a crane operator for a sign company in 
Florida. Steven has a son, Sean, who is married and has two little girls. In 1954, we had a 
daughter named Susan, who is a supervisor for a mortgage company. She and her husband, 
Dana, (who has been with General Motors for 20 Years) have a daughter, Jennifer, who is a 
producer for ABC Television. 

When Joe got out of the Coast Guard he became a fireman for the Fire Department in 
Wilmington. He was a fireman for about five or six years when he decided he wanted to go to 
Iowa to college to become a chiropractor. We packed our belongings and off we went to 
Davenport, Iowa. This was a six year course but with no vacation Joe did it in four years, while I 
worked three jobs to help him become a chiropractor. He was a really good one and I think he 
treated everyone on the fire and police departments in Wilmington when we came back. 

I, on the other hand, have been an administrative secretary since I left the telephone office. I 
worked with Ann (Palmer) Stewart until our family moved to Iowa. 

In 1965, we had a son, Bryce. After he graduated from high school, he went to Wentworth 
Institute in Boston, for carpentry. I sent him to Wentworth because I wanted him to become 
interested in computers, believing that was the coming thing, but he didn't want anything to do 
with computers. He was more interested in carpentry, so that's what he studied. He has his own 
building business. He has two girls. We also have a daughter, Brenda, who is an Esthetician. 
She is married to Steven (who is with IB). They have two sons. 

About seven years ago, Joe got very sick with Mad Cows disease (The doctor said he may have 
gotten that when he had a triple aorta bypass in 1985.) and after that he got dementia. It was 
very hard for him, as well as all the family, because sometimes he didn't know any of us. (One 
night were in bed and he said, "Who is in the bed beside me?" and I told him it was Michelle 
Pfeififer and to go to sleep.) Joe always liked a good laugh. 

Joe passed away in April, 2000. We all miss him very much and, in fact, sometimes during each 
day, we think of something he would have said and we laugh. He was a wonderfiil husband and 
loving father. After Joe died, I sold my home and now live with my daughter Susan and her 
husband Dana. I have a very good relationship with them. It has been 1 8 years since Joe and I 
moved to Tarpon Springs with Susan and Dana. Eventually all the family moved to Tarpon 


Well, I was all set to go to the 55 class reunion last October and, in fact, flew to New 
Hampshire to stay with my grandson and family, but during the night I had a stroke and spent six 
days in the St Joseph Hospital in Nashua. I'm fine now with no side effects. I went back to 
work in November but then I retired in December. I have gone to the gym for the past three 
years. Now I'm able to go every day when I feel like going instead of 5:30 in the morning. I 
also go driving golf balls every so often. 

How ironic, this March 15 I will be attending the Wihnington reunion in Tarpon Springs at 
Howard Park, which is right around the comer from where we live. I'm really looking forward 
to seeing everyone there. 

Every year, I try to return to Massachusetts. When I do, I usually stay with my nephew and his 
family in Harwich. I do try to drive through Wilmington to remember my old stomping grounds. 


Nancy Noble Cook 

41 Nickerson Road 
Orleans, MA 02653 

Graduating from WHS was a milestone in my life, and a big event following the many 
years of the Depression we all had survived. I still held onto my dream to be a teacher 
like my favorite teacher at the Silver Lake School, Miss Mildred Rogers. Affordable 
education for me was only possible at Lowell State Teachers College, which I commuted to daily 
by bus. The four years passed quickly and I have wonderful memories of my student-teaching 
days at the Cross Street School in Lowell. Very close friendships still exist with five members of 
the Class of 195 1, who continue to gather for their annual reunion on the Cape. 

Superintendents of many Massachusetts school systems came to LSTC early in February, to 
recruit seniors for teaching positions in their schools. Many of us signed contracts during those 
interviews, and I was so pleased to be selected to teach a third grade at the Franklin School in 
Wakefield., and, at the second-highest starting salary offered graduating seniors — $2592! I 
taught in Wakefield for three years and commuted to Boston University nights and in the 
summer to complete graduate work in the field of Remedial Reading. This directed me to the 
position of Remedial Reading teacher at the new Wildwood School in Wilmington, where I 
taught for two years. 

In June of 1956, wedding bells chimed at the Congregational Church for me and my dear Bill. I 
moved to Southbridge, MA, where Bill had been living three months before our wedding. He 
was employed by Mass Electric Company in Worcester as an electrical engineer. I had accepted 
a position as Remedial Reading teacher in the elementary schools of Charlton, Sturbridge, and 
Holland. After a few years, Sturbridge urged me to become Reading Supervisor at Burgess 
Elementary School. During these years in Sturbridge, I was active in Delta Kappa Gamma, an 
International Society of Women Educators and became President of Alpha Alpha Chapter in the 
Worcester area. Thirty wonderful years were enjoyed in the southern Worcester County area. I 
retired in 1986, after 35 years in education! 

Bill retired in 1987, but it took us two years to move permanently to Orleans on Cape Cod, 
where we had built our retirement home in 1983. Since we had no children, our life has been 
filled with church work, community volunteering, and travel. We have toured by plane and bus 
in Hawaii, Sweden, England, Scotland and Wales. When our Orleans Church celebrated the 
350* year of its founding, we observed this special time by tracing the footsteps of our Pilgrim 
Fathers in England and Holland. However, cruising has been our favorite mode of travel: 
Alaska's Inside Passage, Coast of Norway, Baltic Sea, Panama Canal, Erie Canal, Bermuda, and 
Hawaii's four major islands. High on our travel lists and yet to come, if time doesn't run out we 
hope, will be the canals and rivers between Vienna and Amsterdam, the Intra-Coastal Waterway 
from Rhode Island to Florida, the Great Lakes and the Mediterranean. 

My church work, through the years, has involved committees, choirs, and women's groups. My 
only "claim to fame" was being appointed the first woman Moderator in the 180 year history of 
our Southbridge Congregational Church. My volunteer work has involved the community and 
serving on an Advisory Board for retired teachers: the shop in the community provides free 


clothing, household items, and food for low-income families; the Advisory Board makes 
financial grants for emergencies in the lives of retired teachers on small pensions. 

Many friendships, which began in Wilmington, have continued to bring happiness to my life 
through the years. Gunver (Dahlin) Davis and I are very close friends to this day. Julia 
(Webber) Fielding kept in touch until her death, Bobbie (Ware) London and I have enjoyed 
working and socializing in our Church's women's group here. Jean (Melzar) Shepard, Libby's 
sister, visits us when she and her husband make their annual visit to the Cape. The post office 
helps to bring Muriel (Martin) Tribble and Madeline (Emery) Syvertson close when their cards 
and notes arrive in the mail. An anonymous writer has penned my feelings perfectly: 
"Friendship is the melody and fragrance of life." 

Class of '47 Best Wishes! 


Ann Palmer Stewart 

28 Patricia Lane 

Harwich Port, MA 02646 

For what it's worth, I was in the process of renewing my Real Estate Broker's license when 
your letter arrived requesting a short autobiography. The fact that I am projecting a future 
use of my license at the age of 73 must tell you that I am still active, healthy, very 
fortunate (or nuts) and looking ahead to the golden years that everyone talks about. 

Regarding the last 55 years, I married Ervyl (Turk) Stewart in August 1949. Many of you know 
him as the local Civil Engineer who surveyed and laid-out development designs aroimd town. 
We are still together and are the proud parents of five: Daniel (Wilmington Fire Chief), Dorothy 
(RN), Douglas (Civil Engineer), Jimmy (Wilmington Town Moderator) and Diane (multi- 
talented). Our 6 grandchildren reside in Wilmington and are active in the community, school 
and sports. When Dianne (our youngest) graduated fi-om Mt Ida College in 1991, 1 was the only 
family member without a degree. I met the challenge and enrolled at UMass as a part-time 
evening student. This was a period when I was helping Ervyl in his business, managing some 
real estate and trying to play a little golf. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1994. (It was 
early-onset and has been cured.) In 1995 I was awarded an Associate of Science in Criminal 
Justice and a Paralegal Certificate in 1 996. I am a member of the 2000 graduating class of 
UMass Lowell with a Bachelor of Science (magna cum laude) in Criminal Justice. Don't let 
anyone tell you that you're too old to learn! 

We sold our Wilmington house in 1998 and moved to our beach house on Cape Cod. Around 
the same time we bought a house in Florida and spend the vdnter months there working on our 
golf game. Life has been good and we are old enough and wise enough to know it! 

Looking forward to reading similar reports fi^om the class of '47 and (with a little luck) seeing 
you again at our 60* in 2007! 


Gerry Porter Doane 

1 1 Glenwood Drive 
Claremont, NH 03743 


really wanted to be Sonja Heine, what kid (girl) living across the street from a cranberry 
bog, five acres of glistening ice, wouldn't want to be Sonja? But the Ice Follies never called, 
so I made the best of it. 

I worked for a while after graduation, then started at Boston University, transferred to Tufts to 
finish with a degree in Occupational Therapy (OT) and Education. I enjoyed working in OT in a 
psychiatric setting after college. Jack & I married in 1955, moved to New York and then Dallas 
where I also worked in psychiatry. We moved back to Massachusetts and started a family, 
Patricia (43), John (39) and Eileen (35). Great kids (like yours!) who have provided us with 
wonderfiil grandchildren (like yours!), Michaela (10), Kacie (4) and John William (9 months). 

I restarted my OT career when the children were older, practicing home care with the local 
Visiting Nurse Association in Ipswich. I returned to the hospital setting at the Salem Hospital 
and then, fiill time, at the New England Rehabilitation Hospital in Wobum. It was while I was 
there that I was offered a teaching position in a two year OT Assistant Program at North Shore 
Community College in Beverly, thus beginning a new career which lasted for 16 years. I got my 
master degree in education in my 50s and ended that career in New Hampshire where I taught in 
a similar program. I loved teaching, had wonderfiil students and still keep in touch. 

Jack and I had always thought that we would retire to NH, and so we did (our daughters and 
granddaughters are in NH and son, John, and family are in Colorado). We live on the "quiet" 
side of NH, nice area, nice people. 

I have been retired since 1996. Do I enjoy retirement? You bet! Time in the garden, meeting 
with fiiends and wondering how I ever had time to work! (Like you!) Travel is wonderfiil, I've 
been through the Panama Canal (cruising is wonderful), Europe, Bermuda, Canada, Bahamas, trips 
south and west by car (car trips are wonderful), just enjoying being on the go. We belong to AVA, 
American Volksport Association, a wonderful pleasure walking club which sponsors lOK walks 
throughout the country and, really, the world. Pleasure walks, not forced marches, the best way to 
see the country. I've done lOKs in 1 1 of the states and am going for 50... I should live so long! 

Jack enjoys golfing. I may play occasionally but only carry 3 clubs, a tee and a ball (I really like 
the walk). Took up downhill skiing at 63, cross country skiing on occasion, didn't do either this 
year. The downhill was on the baby slopes, so don't be impressed, those skis have since been 
retired. We usually get down to Florida to see sister Eileen and Monty (Dick Montgomery) in 
the winter but passed this year, about the coldest & snowiest winter in NH history! Smart, eh? 

Being productive is important to me. I hold positions in the NH OT Association, the NH 
Weavers Guild, the NH Federation of State Garden Clubs and our local Garden Club. My car 
drives to Concord on automatic pilot! Very meaningful is my role as an Eucharistic minister, 
bringing communion to several home bound parishioners. 


Our 55 reunion was wonderful, simply because we had a chance to share our lives, to fill the 
gaps and to get to know one another, again. I look forward to reading your history and seeing 
you at the next reunion. Stay well and take pleasure in knowing that you made a mark in others' 


44 i 



Alice Rooney Sullivan 

20 Jones Avenue 
Wilmington, MA 01887 

married in 1949. I had 10 children, 5 boys and 5 giris, now ranging from 52 to 36. My 
children have done quite well and blessed me with 31 grandchildren. They range from 29 to 
2 years. This year, I have 7 grandchildren in college and 3 graduating from High School. 

My hobbies have included knitting, ceramics, making all kinds of cakes: baby showers, 
christenings, birthdays. First Communion, confirmation and graduation (high school and 
college). I have become quite an expert at this and with my size family, it is a fiill time job. 

I spent seven years as a teacher's aide at the Glen Road School and two years at the North 
Intermediate. I took courses at Wheelock College in Boston and at the University of New 
Hampshire for early child development and became the social worker for the Head Start program 
in Wilmington. 

My most rewarding hobby is playing the piano at the nursing homes in Wilmington and the Pines 
in Tewksbury. The residents love singing all those old songs and bringing pleasure to them is 
very rewarding. I also go to A.I.M. (Access Is Mandatory), a social for handicapped people. We 
meet on Tuesday at the Knights of Columbus in Wilmington, serve lunch and have Bingo cards, 
games and sometimes a sing-a-long. 

My husband died on January 9 , this year. It has been a big adjustment for me. We were 
married for 53 years. 


Carolyn Smalley Ryan 

145 Main Street 

Havenside, Apt B 1 2 

Vinyard Haven, MA 02568 

Gee, I could write a whole book on my life. But here goes. I'll try to condense it. You 
might not want to hear about all the things that happened to me since I left high school. 
First off, I got a job with the telephone company as an operator in Medford, then 
transferred to Reading. (It was nearer home.) I worked there for about four years until I met and 
married my husband, James Ryan, Jr., from Tewksbury. We moved in wdth Jim's aunt and uncle 
(he was a councilman in Lowell) for six months. From there we rented a place of our own in 
Wilmington, and then moved to Billerica. 

Six years after we married, we managed to find a "little shack by the railroad track" in south 
Tewksbury by the Wilmington line, something we could afford. With nothing down and the 
right price, which was dirt cheap, we bought it. It was a summer camp really, not winterized. 
We moved out and in with my mother when winter came. With lots of "elbow grease," our little 
shack was finally winterized and we moved in and lived there for fourteen years. Three of our 
children were bom there. Jim and I had six boys. We sold our "little shack by the railroad track" 
and bought Jim's father's house on Franklin street in Tewksbury, after Jim's mother died. 

With six boys to care for (yoimgest was five months) I traveled with all my boys every day for 
one year to take care of Jim's mom when she was dying of leukemia, until she passed away. 

Meanwhile Jim had found a good job working for the Shawmut Bank in Boston. We were happy 
about that since his pay increased from $75.00 to $150.00 per week and all medical benefits were 
included, which he didn't have before. Jim quickly rose through the ranks at Shawmut Bank 
(now Fleet Bank). He retired twenty-five years later as Vice- President of his division in the 
Telecommunications Department. He was sixty-eight years old. 

During the time Jim was working for the Shawmut Bank, we managed to do a lot of traveling. 
We attended the International Communications of America convention each year, which was 
held at various locations all over the United States and the World. This gave Jim and me the 
opportunity to visit all parts of the world. Traveling to so many places was an unbelievable 
experience for us. 

With six sons, our family grew fast. I now have sixteen grandchildren and seven great 

Our son, Rick, was diagnosed with bone cancer in his leg when was thirteen years old. Doctors 
told us he wouldn't live long, but he graduated from Northeastern University, was Vice- 
President of his division in Shawmut Bank, and married. When he finally died in 1985, he was 
34 years old. 

My husband, Jim, had contacted prostate cancer and passed away in 1995, on Memorial Day. 
Two years later, in 1 997, my oldest son also passed away from pancreatic cancer. A year after 


my husband's demise, I had both eyes operated on for cataracts and had an annual checkup. It 
was discovered I had breast cancer in 1996. I went through the whole gamut of chemo and 

I sold my house in Tewksbury to my son, Rick, and moved to Reading for one year after my 
husband Jim, died. My son, Kevin, lives in Martha's vineyard and works for Stop & Shop. I 
visited with him and enjoyed it there. My sons got together and bought me a home on the island. 

Renting up my emotions from life's traumas finally caught up with me. I couldn't seem to cry. I 
had built up a wall around myself and became a recluse and alcohol became a crutch I could lean 
on for support. All my life, I was never one to have more than an occasional drink every now 
and then. Alcohol was never a problem. I was down to 80 pounds, skin and bones, when my 
sons took over and placed me in a rehab facility for three weeks. When I left there I weighed 
104 pounds. I managed to "slay the dragon" and am now back to where I was before. I will 
never again have to lean on the "crutch." 

I moved from my home to an apartment in Havenside on the island. I am looking out the 
window now at the magnificent view of the harbor. I can see the ferry coming in from the 
mainland and hundreds of sailboats that are moored in rows. There are lots of boats to watch, 
coming and going, in a buzz of activity. What a glorious sight to behold. 

I never dreamed I could live like this. Every day is appreciated for the gift that it really is. I love 
the new friends that I have made here. I am always busy doing volunteer work each day for the 
Anchor's Senior Center. . I don't have hobbies. I am too busy helping other people to do that. 

In May, 200, 1 am very proud to say that I was presented with the "Senior Citizen of the Year" 
award for Martha's Vineyard (for all the volunteer work and help I have given others). 

Unfortunately, I don't get back to Wilmington much anymore, but I do keep in touch with former 
classmate and dear fiiend, Eleanor Preston. Her second husband, John, also passed away. She 
now lives in Lauderdale by the Sea, Florida, in winter and New Hampshire in summer. She is 
listed in the phone book under Margaret E. which she says is really her first name. Eleanor's 
only daughter lives in Reading. Remember my other friends, Eleanor Cocoa, Emily Lyons, 
Helen Lane? Yes, we also keep in touch with each other. 

My classmates and friends from Wilmington will always remain close to my heart. We had 
some wonderful times growing up in Wilmington, by Silver Lake. Great memories. 


Dottie Smith Bradley 

6413 Wilcox Court 
Alexandria, VA 22310 



hat a great idea! I really enjoyed our 55 , as I did all the others 

After graduating from WHS in 1947, I went to work for the John Hancock Life 
Insurance Company in Boston. I worked there for almost three years. 

After seeing a poster on my way to work one day that said, "Join the Navy and Go to Hawaii", I 
looked into joining. I did join the W.A.V E.S. (where I got my courage, I'll never know) in 
October of 1950. 

I took my "boot" training in Great Lakes, 111., after which I was stationed in Washington, D, C. I 
worked at the Pentagon Building as an office Yeoman. It was there that I met my husband. Bill, 
who was also in the Navy. It turns out he grew up in Haverhill, Mass. 


Our friendship blossomed into love and we were married in the Chapel on February 2, 1952. We 
raised a family of seven children, 3 boys and 4 girls. They are all married now, and have 
families of their own. We have 16 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. We've really 
enjoyed growing up with them. 

Bill and I celebrated our 51^* wedding anniversary on February 2, 2003. 

P. S. No, I never did get to Hawaii! 


Charles Sullivan 


Maurertown, VA 22644 

I feel fortunate that I spent the first twenty-two years of my life, not only in Wilmington, but 
on the shores of Silver Lake, with friends like Gerard Forest, Tupper Riddle, Bobby Taylor, 
Ron Clements, Everett McQuaid, Ron Eaton, etc., with whom I played ice hockey, swam and 
caroused around town. We had a lot of fim in our youth. After high school, I worked at Riley's 
gas station beside Tattersall's store. 

After enlisting in the Air Force, I was whisked away to Texas. From there it was on to 
Cheyenne, Wyoming, to take a two and a half year course as an instructor in heavy equipment. 
From there I ventured into the Aviation Cadet Program, an intensive one and a half year training 
course. I became a pilot and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, and presented my wings 
and bars. 

I met my wife, Connie, from Arlington, Virginia, in Washington, D. C. We got married and 
moved to Panama City, Florida, where I was assigned for the next six years as a Maintenance 
Flight Test Pilot. Four of our six children were bom while we hved there. From there I was 
assigned to Syracuse, New York, and then was off to infamous Vietnam. While I was stationed 
in Vietnam, our fifth child was bom, a son. 

When I returned from Vietnam, we moved to Washington, D. C. where I was a Flight Examiner 
for four years. From there followed three fantastic years in Fairbanks, Alaska. Viewing all those 
glaciers from the skies is an awesome sight. 

After being discharged from the Air Force with the rank of Major, we moved to Hudson, New 
Hampshire. I entered the civilian world again. For the next twenty years, I was employed by the 
Nashua Corporation in the Research & Development Department. While living in Hudson, 
Connie and were given the surprise of our lives. Connie said, "Guess what, Charley? I am 
pregnant." We were in our early forties when our last child, a son, was bom. 

We have six children (2 daughters, 4 sons), eleven grandchildren and a great grandchild is due to 
arrive next month. Like a lot of us now, we spend a lot of time with our children. Our youngest 
son. Bill, is an Air Force helicopter (Black Hawk) pilot who, thankfully, just arrived home from 
Afghanistan and has been promoted to the rank of Major. He lives in Georgia. Our daughter, 
Terry, is a Delta Airlines pilot via the Air Force Academy. Son, number one, Charley, Jr., is a 
computer designer, living in Orlando, Florida. Son, Timothy, is a teacher in New Hampshire. 
Laura, our oldest daughter, is a homemaker and her husband is employed as a FedEx pilot. 

Jimmy, our most famous son, graduated from High School in '79. Just two days short of his 
eighteenth birthday, while swimming at Hampton Beach, he dove into a wave and became an 
instant quadriplegic. And what Jimmy has done with his life since that, twenty-three years ago, 
sets an example for us all. Believe it or not, he did manage to graduate from Arizona State 


College and was employed by the Digital Corporation for five years. After being la(id off, he 
now travels on a speech circuit throughout New England. He served in town politics as a School 
Board member and Chairman of the Rehabilitation Board. He is now making plans to live on his 
own. He is a computer whiz as well, and assists children in the high school. His 
accomplishments are so many that they are too numerous to mention here. 

We are building a home in the Shenandoah Valley, 560 miles to the south. So if you are driving 
on Highway 81, in Virginia, and you need a rest or beverage, turn west and drive ten miles. We 
will leave the light on for you. 



Joe (Bernie) Surrette 

170N.Yonge Street 
Ormond Beach, Florida 32174 

was very disappointed that I was not able to attend the reunion, but a planned cruise 
occurred at the time. 

First off, to confuse everyone, I should point out that shortly after graduation, I found out that my 
name was not Bernard, but Joseph. I am writing from my Florida residence and will attempt to 
put 55 years in as few paragraphs as possible. 

After graduation in June, 1947, 1 enlisted in the Army Air Corps in August (This later became 
the USAF.) I remained in the service for seven years. 

In 1951, 1 married a girl from Lowell and we had two children, a son and a daughter. Both are 
now married and have given us three granddaughters, ages 26, 16 and 13. 

My wife and I took up residence in Lowell after leaving the Air Force. I then went to work for 
the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Bedford, Massachusetts, where I worked in 
Administration. I remained there for 28 V2 years, the last 14 as Chief, Patient Services. My wife, 
a nurse, also worked at the VA Hospital and retired in 1977 on a disability. I retired in 1984. 

Since that time, I have occupied my time gardening, golfing and traveling with my wife. For the 
past thirteen years, we have wintered in Florida, golfing, traveling and just plain relaxing. So 
this has been the last 55 years in a nut shell. 


Bernie Wagstaff 

12 Pleasant Street 
Wilmington, MA 01887 


ello former classmates, 

.My name is Bemie Wagstaff, and I am a member of the class of 1947 even though I 
didn't graduate with the class. I transferred to Maiden in my last year, but I still feel that I am 
part of this class because I grew up with most of you starting back in the fifth grade at the 
Center School, now referred to as the Swain School. 

My wife, Gertrude, came to Wilmington in her last year from Charlestown, and therefore, didn't 
get to know the class as well even though she graduated with you. 

After I left school, I joined the U. S. Army and was sent down to Texas to help reactivate the 
famous 2"^ Armored Division Hell on Wheels at Camp Hood, now called Fort Hood. I was 
assigned to the 67* medium tank battahon, which was later divided in half to reactivate the 82"^ 
reconnaissance battalion. I then was transferred to the 82°** and became the motor pool sergeant 
of Company B. After a year in Texas, I was released from active duty and transferred into the 
active reserve. In October of 1950, 1 was recalled back to active duty three days before I was to 
be married to Gertrude Leverone. Of course, I was a little upset about this, but when duty calls 
you gotta go. I took the physical and all the other tests and was told I would be gone within 
fifteen days. Gertrude and I decided to get married anyway as long as the arrangements had 
already been made. We waited for my orders to come through, and we waited, and waited, and 
waited, and after three years and two kids later, I received my discharge from the U. S. Army. 

I worked for Brockway-Smith Co. in Charlestown, days and the Gildart Chevrolet Co. nights in 
the fifties. I later went to work for the Gildart Chevrolet Co. in Wilmington, full time becoming 
the sales manager for the next twenty-six years. After the place closed, I opened my own auto 
repair business in North Wilmington and retired seventeen years later, leaving the business to my 
son Michael. I retired because Gertrude became very ill and needed constant care and there isn't 
anything or anyone more dear to me than Gertrude, my wife of fifty-three years coming up this 

I spend some time tinkering with my '53 Chevrolet antique and going to the shows on the 

I am a member of the Wilmington Rotary Club and have been for thirty years. I am also a Paul 
Harris Fellow from the Wilmington club. I am a member of the 2"^ Armored Division 
Association and attend the reunion very year which has been held in Tennessee and South 
Carolina. I am a former member of the Chevrolet Legion of Leaders Club, a former member of 
the oldest club of it's kind in the automobile business, the Cheverolet Sales Managers Council 
#63 of the North Shore Dealers Association. 

To sum up, Gertrude and I have been married fifty three years this October 15. We have four 
children, two girls and two boys, eight grandchildren, all boys. One graduated two years ago 


from Assumption College, another will graduate this year from Assumption, another will be 
going into his third year at Amherst, another is in his third year at Tufts, another will enter his 
first year at Tufts this fall. The others are still in high school and elementary school. 

As I said at the reunion, it was wonderful to see all the old classmates again and sad not to see 
the ones that have gone on before us. So until we meet again, thanks for the memories. 



Josephine ''Sis" Wandell Bell 

413 Tulip Street 
Walterboro, South Carolina 29488 

don't know whose idea this is but it's a great one. I look back at our graduation jfrom 
Wilmington High School and realize how lucky we were to get such a great education. 

Two years after graduation, I married Johnny Bell. He was a grade ahead of us but left school to 
go into the navy when he was seventeen years old. He was bom in Glasgow, Scotland, but I 
soon learned that he must have been bom to a band of gypsies, we moved so much. 

John had a great career in the landscaping design and constmction business. Under the Johnson 
administration, Mrs. Johnson invited him to the White House where he received an award for the 
beautification of the highways. Even now when we go to Boston, we still see some of his design 
work, very overgrown but still standing like living monuments. 

We had eight children in eleven years. There are five girls and three boys. The last birth was 
twins. A girl and a boy. They are all doing well and have produced fourteen grandchildren and 
two great-grandchildren. They all live on the east coast, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina 
and the Florida Keys. On Thanksgiving we rent four houses on the beach here in Charleston 
and everyone that can, come, even some of the ex-son-in laws. Two years ago there were about 
60 people for dinner. We made rules now and unless you pass a Bell D.N. A. test, you don't get 
any turkey. One year one of our granddaughters was married on the beach on Thanksgiving. 
Johnny built a gazebo for the minister and we made a path of candles leading to it. She got 
married at sunset and we have pictures of them standing at the altar with porpoises jumping in 
the background. 

John and I have come fUU circle. When we were in our early forties, we bought a home in the 
Florida Keys and would winter there every year. We would take all the children out of school 
and enroll them in the Keys. We did this until the crunch came in the seventies and we sold 
everything and moved to the Keys fiiU time. While we still hved in Massachusetts, we lived in 
Tewksbury, Winchester, Gloucester, York Harbor, Maine, and finally Ipswich. We would buy 
these old houses that no one wanted because they were so big, but ideal for our large family. I 
didn't realize until they were all grown up and telling stories that the children always thought 
they lived in haunted houses. In Winchester, I couldn't find one of the girls and she was in the 
service elevator that went between the floors. The other children were giving her rides. 

When we first went to Florida, we did a lot of fishing, swimming, diving and sailing for about 
two years. We were only in our middle forties and were getting bored and realized that we 
would have to go back to work. John took the job as the County Biologist and I went to work at 
a local resort. The man that owned it made me the manager after a year and then left for Jamaica 
for a two-week vacation and never came back. He would call about once a month and ask if 
everything was alright. I think he was smoking those ftmny little cigarettes. The resort was so 
beautifiil, on ten Acres on the Gulf of Mexico. On payday, I felt guilty getting my check. I felt 
like I should be paying the company for allowing me to work there. I was there for ten years. 


When John and I were in our late fifties, we took a vacation to Mass to see my brother, Danny, 
and then on for a trip to Nova Scotia where we had been many times. We fell in love with a little 
farm that was for sale and bought it. It was eleven acres on a cove and three islands off the shore 
were part of it. We both left our jobs and moved to Nova Scotia for the summer. We restored 
the little farm housed and built a new cottage at the water's edge. We kept our house in Florida 
and spent ten years with six months at each place. Nova Scotia is beautiful but their socialized 
medicine is terrible. Even if you're willing to pay for services, you have to wait for any kind of 
treatment. I was diagnosed with breast cancer and we decided to move back to the states. We 
wanted to move somewhere close to all the children and Charleston, S. C. seemed to be the 
place. After seeing "Gone With The Wind" I always imagined that some day I would live on an 
old plantation in the South, sitting on a veranda, sipping mint juleps with a big straw hat and a 
flowing organdie gown. I never did get the hang of drinking and the gowns don't come in plus 
sizes so the only thing that fits me is the hat. The city was too busy for us so we moved into a 
little country home in Walterboro, fifty miles from Charleston. 

On our fiftieth wedding anniversary, our children sent us on a trip to England and Scotland for 
three weeks. It was a wonderfijl vacation and we saw the little cottage John was bom in at 

John was told he has Alzheimer's a couple of years ago. He is doing great and is in a research 
group at the Medical University of S. C. They are doing wonders in this area with new 
medicines for slowing down the process of memory loss. I said when I moved here it would be 
my last move but now for health reasons, we feel we should be closer to Charleston and the good 
medical facilities. We have just bought a condo on the river and will move there this summer. 
John still likes to canoe and he stills plays tennis. Three of our daughters and three 
grandchildren will live close by. Now that John can't drive, and I'll be the first to admit that I'm 
not the best driver in the world, we should be closer to things. Our oldest daughter said she 
wished there was a number she could call when she knew we were coming to the city so 
everyone could get off the highway. When did the children become the parent? 

When we got married, Lois Pilcher was one of my bridesmaids and a good fiiend. When she 
married she moved to California and I lost touch with her for about forty-five years. Two years 
ago she called me and had just moved to a town next to me. It is wonderfiil to have a good 
fiiend so close by. I also talk to Emily Clements Doucette every couple of weeks. She has 
always remained my sister that I never had. We have shared good times and sad times. I try to 
get to Wilmington once a year and get to spend some special time with Pat and Joe Gilligan. My 
brother, Danny, and wife, Betty, still live in Wilmington with their seven children and many 
grandchildren close by. We're about five minutes off Route 95 so we get some of our old 
Wilmington fiiends that travel to Florida every year to stop by. 

We are enjoying life with all our family even though I have to remind Johnny what a great time 
we're having. We still go to the Florida Keys every winter, twenty miles from Key West, where 
our three sons, grandchildren and great-children live. One son has done very well in real estate 
in Florida, his siblings call him Dougie Trump, and he has built us a nice apartment next to his 
swimming pool. My daughter-in-law is as good to me as my own daughters and it is always a 
pleasure to be with them, plus they go out a lot for dinner. 


All our children have remained close to each other. They have all been very good to us and we 
count on them now that we're getting older. 

I feel that our generation can do anything. If we could bring up teen-agers in the sixties and 
make it, everything else is a piece of cake. 

I hope Mrs. Webber is looking down on me and knows I finally learned how to type and Mr. 
Harvey knows I became a bookkeeper. 

Best regards and good health to all. 



Theodore Wicks 

P. O. Box 701 
Epping, NH 03042 

id you know I was bom in Wilmington? I went all through school there right up through 
High School. Then it was on to Bentley College where I graduated in 1952. After 
college, I was employed by the A & P Tea Company in Wakefield. 

Carl Woodman and Jack Reagan were instrumental in arranging a blind date for me with my 
wife, Beth McCall, from Winchester. We were married in 1952 and lived on Parker Street for 
two years before moving to our home at Hathaway Acres in North Wilmington. We have five 
children, two boys, three girls and eight grandchildren. We enjoyed many years of camping and 
skiing with our children as they were growing up. 

A fiiend of Beth' s bought an electronics company and he introduced me to the intricacies of his 
business. I became engrossed and moved into this field, working for several companies and also, 
on my own, repairing television sets, radios and other appliances. 

After joining Middlesex Bank as their Accounting Manager, I retired from there in 1991. 

For six years I was a member of the National Guard during the Korean conflict. Never activated, 
I journeyed to Camp Drum in New York once a year and one time to Camp Edwards on Cape 

If you opened my closet door, you would find a whole raft of sports equipment there, a tennis 
racquet, golf clubs, baseballs, softballs, and bats. Yes, I do them all. Having played for six 
decades on the Wilmington baseball and softball teams certainly shows my love for the sport. 
We were charged annual fees of ten dollars for playing. My ten dollar fee was waived on my 
last year of play. My teammates surprised me by formally presenting me with my nicely framed 
ten dollar bill. It was an award given me for having played well beyond my years. I still play 
tennis and golf. Occasionally, I see John Elia on the golf course since we belong to the same 

I retired in 1991 and sold my home in Wilmington, Beth and I now spend six months of the 
year at our Florida home and six months at our place (purchased in 1965) in Hedding Camp 
Meeting Association in Epping, New Hampshire. It is a Methodist campground dating back 140 
years. I have kept busy at Hedding Association by serving at various times on the Board of 
Tmstees, President of the Athletic Association and as their Auditor. Much to our delight, four of 
my children have purchased places there. 

Beth and I took an extensive auto trip throughout the western part of the United States. We 
stopped in Scottsdale, Arizona with our good friends, Carl and Eleanor Woodman. We had a 
great time. 

Beth was talking with our neighbor in Florida, from Ohio. Our neighbor told Beth about their 
having a reunion of all their townspeople at a fancy restaurant every year. Idea's clicked in 


Beth' s head and she discussed a more informal setting like a park. That was eleven years ago 
and ever since then, Beth and I have organized and held our own annual Wilmington Reunion 
Day in a nice picnic area in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Everyone from Wilmington is invited. 
Around one to two hundred people attend each year. 

I have recently had surgery on my shoulder, rotator cuff, and am now recuperating in Florida and 
have sixteen weeks of therapy ahead of me. We will be heading for New Hampshire in a couple 
of weeks. I have had problems before, in '98 I had radiation for prostate cancer. But you can't 
keep a good man down. I will be back on the golf course before you know it. 

My thanks to all those who worked in putting this book together. It is a great idea. 


We Also Remember 

Vincent Anomanisto 

Alfred Balkus 

Robert Blaisdell 

Robert Bosteels 

Richard Buck 

Joseph Hardy 

Roberta Hillis Standish 

Marjorie Johnston Dyas 

Frederick Lilley 
Elizabeth Melzar PuUen 
Barbara Murray Griffin 

Phyllis O'Leary 
Dorothy Oman Jensen 

William Peters 

Shirley Quigg Smith 

John Reagan 

Robert Soule 

Rufus Stevens 

Robert Swain 

Mildred Waisner Cavanaugh 

Julia Webber Fielding 

James Welling 



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